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Financial accounts of political parties published

News release published: 02-08-2012

The financial accounts of UK political parties and accounting units with income or expenditure of over £250,000 for the year ending 31 December 2011 have been published today by the Electoral Commission, the independent elections watchdog.  

Party income and expenditure

A total of 14 parties in the UK reported having gross income or total expenditure in 2011 of over £250,000.  In total, these parties reported £73,232,982 income and £69,595,498 expenditure.

Party Income Expenditure
Alliance - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland £201,520 £251,575
British National Party £648,980 £434,507
Conservative and Unionist Party £23,660,000 £22,825,000
Co-operative Party £1,091,778 £1,142,440
Democratic Unionist Party - D.U.P. £615,052 £444,125
Green Party  £710,253 £690,608
Labour Party £31,326,000 £30,253,000
Liberal Democrats £6,204,766 £6,504,730
Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales £624,987 £776,207
Scottish National Party (SNP)  £5,030,916 £3,453,882
SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party) £429,941 £339,858
Sinn Féin   £1,266,079 £1,163,106
UK Independence Party (UK I P) £1,069,127 £971,186
Ulster Unionist Party  £353,583 £345,274

Accounting unit income and expenditure

Political parties may register 'accounting units’ with the Electoral Commission. These are constituent or affiliated units of a political party, including constituency parties. Twelve accounting units reported income and/or expenditure of over £250,000:

  • five Conservative and Unionist Party accounting units totalling income of £1,908,735  and expenditure of £970,624
  • two Labour Party accounting units totalling income of £1,010,773 and expenditure of £1,040,379
  • four Liberal Democrat accounting units totalling income of £3,702,577 and expenditure of £3,115,011
  • one SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party) accounting unit with income of £215,698 and expenditure of £270,589

Lisa Klein, Director of Party and Election Finance said: “It is essential that voters have information on the financial accounts of political parties. We are pleased that for the first time that all of the larger political parties have submitted accounts to us within the statutory deadline. This is an important step forward in improving transparency and accountability, but we now need to go further and standardise the format for the reporting of financial accounts. This will allow meaningful comparisons to be made on how parties raise money and what they spend it on”.  
 
In May the Commission published the financial accounts of 304 political parties and 438 accounting units with income or expenditure of less than £250,000. Further information on this is available at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/news-and-media/news-releases/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-donations/financial-accounts-smaller-poltiical-parties-published

We have since published the financial accounts of a further 17 political parties and 2 accounting units that were submitted late. Each of these late submissions are currently being considered in line with our Enforcement Policy.   

The 2011 statement of accounts for political parties and accounting units are available on our website at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/PEF-online-registers

Ends

For further information please contact Rosemary Davenport, Media Relations Officer, on 020 7271 0704.
Outside office hours 07789 920414.

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections. We work to support a healthy democracy, where elections and referendums are based on our principles of trust, participation and no undue influence.
  2. The Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires that parties and accounting units with a gross income or expenditure of more than £250,000 and whose financial year ends on 31 December 2011, deliver an annual statement of accounts to The Electoral Commission by 7 July 2012. The accounts must be audited by a qualified auditor and a copy of the auditor’s reports must be submitted with the accounts.
  3. The Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 gave the Commission a new set of sanctions to apply to breaches of party funding law that take place after 1 December 2010. These include fixed and variable monetary penalties, compliance notices, stop notices and restoration notices. The Commission’s Enforcement Policy, and further information, can be found here: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/enforcement
  4. The fact that a Statement of Accounts has been placed on the Commission’s website should not be taken to indicate that the Electoral Commission has verified or validated it in any way. We will check the accounts against other information we hold such as donation and borrowing returns and campaign expenditure reports.

Journalist