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Party donations and borrowing in final week of general election campaign published

News release published: 14-05-2010

Eight political parties registered in Great Britain reported receiving over £13.46 million in donations during the 31 day UK Parliamentary general election period, according to figures published by the independent party funding regulator, the Electoral Commission. The total figure for new borrowing in this same period was £120,000.

The figures published by the Commission show that nearly £2.8 million of these donations were received from 4-6 May, the fifth and last of the special pre-election reporting periods.

Political parties that received donations or entered into new borrowing of over £7,500 to the central party during the election period had to report these to the Electoral Commission on a weekly basis. The election period ran from Tuesday 6 April to Thursday 6 May. Political parties also had to report changes to the terms of any borrowing.

There is no requirement for parties to report donations to and borrowing by accounting units on a weekly basis during the election period. However, parties must include amounts over £1,500 donated to or borrowed by accounting units during this period, in their usual quarterly donations and borrowing reports.

There are separate rules for individual candidates, who must report donations that they receive to the Returning Officer for the constituency they are contesting, after the election. They are not required to report donations to the Electoral Commission.

In their weekly reports, political parties must report donations that they are given during the relevant period. This does not necessarily mean that the parties have formally accepted the donations. Under the Political Parties, Elections & Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA), parties have 30 days after receiving a donation to check that it is from a permissible source and decide whether to accept it.

Donations

Party  Amount 4 May to 6 May (£)  Number 4 May to 6 May  Total amount 6 April – 6 May (£)  Total number 6 April – 6 May
Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship” 0 0 60,000  1
Conservative Party  1,620,010 35  7,317,602  171
Co-operative Party  0 0 33,745 1
Labour Party [The] 1,118,177 5,283,199 38
Liberal Democrats  20,000 1 724,000 20
Scottish National Party  0 0 10,000  1
Solihull and Meriden Residents Association 11,582 1 11,582 1
The Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy 0 0 20,000 2
Total  2,769,769 43 13,460,128 235

Further details of donations and borrowing, for this week and previous weeks, can be found on the Electoral Commission website:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/uk-general-election-donations-and-borrowings

The Commission expected 172 parties to submit weekly reports. For the fifth week of the election campaign, we have currently received donation and borrowing reports from 112 parties.  We are contacting the parties that did not supply a weekly report to establish the reasons for this. They may face penalties for failing to comply with the reporting requirements.

Ends/

For further information please contact

Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704
Out of office hours on 07789 920414
Email: press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections.
  2. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA),  requires registered political parties on the GB register that have not submitted a Declaration of Exemption to submit weekly donation and borrowing reports to the Commission during a general election campaign. These reports must include all donations over £7,500 to central parties. 
  3. Political parties who do not intend to contest the general election are required to submit a Declaration of Exemption and are thereby exempt from the requirement to submit weekly donation and borrowing reports.
  4. Prior to 1 January 2010, parties had to report any donation or loans above £5,000 made to the central party. 
  5. Since 1 January 2010, parties must report any donation or borrowing above £7,500 made to the central party. 
  6. Prior to 1 January 2010 parties could accept donations or enter into borrowing of over £200 only if they are deemed ‘permissible’ under the terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000 at the time the donation was made or borrowing entered into. 
  7. Since 1 January 2010 parties can accept donations or enter into borrowing of over £500 only if they are deemed ‘permissible’ under the terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000 at the time the donation was made or borrowing entered into. 
  8. From 1 November 2007, parties on the Northern Ireland register of political parties were required to conform to donation controls and from July 2008 with controls on loans.  As required by the legislation, permissible donations and borrowing reported to us will not be published. 
  9. Failure to by political parties to submit weekly donations and borrowing reports may result in the issuance of a penalty notice. 
  10. An ‘accounting unit’ is a constituency party or unit of the party that is responsible for its own financial affairs separately from those of a political party's central organisation. 
  11. For further information on public funding for political parties, including Policy Development Grants and Short Money, please see the Electoral Commission’s website: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/public_funding
  12. Under PPERA, donations can be accepted from the following UK-registered organisations and individuals:
    • an individual registered in an electoral register
    • a registered party in Great Britain
    • a company
    • a trade union
    • a building society
    • a limited liability partnership
    • a friendly, industrial or provident society
    • an unincorporated association

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