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

News release published: 20-04-2010

Three political parties registered in Great Britain reported receiving just under £2.3 million in donations and one party entered into new borrowing totalling £40,000 in the first week of the UK Parliamentary general election period, according to figures published by the independent party funding regulator, the Electoral Commission.

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

Parties are not required to report donations and borrowing to accounting units on a weekly basis during the election period. However, parties must report all donations and borrowing to accounting units of over £1,500 received during this period in their usual quarterly donations and borrowing reports.

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 check that it is from a permissible source and decide whether to accept it.

Donations

Party Donations 6-12 April (£) Number of donations 6-12 April
Conservative Party 1,455,811.86 33
Labour Party [The] 783,159.17 7
Liberal Democrats 20,000.00 2
Total 2,258,971.03 42

Borrowing entered into

Party Credit facilities (£) 6-12 April  Number of credit facilities 6-12 April
Trust 40,000.00 1
Total 40,000.00 1

Further details of donations and borrowing can be found on the Electoral Commission website: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/uk-general-election-donations-and-borrowings

The remaining reporting periods, submission deadlines and publication dates for weekly donations and borrowing reports are set out in the table below:

Reporting period Submission deadline Publication date
13-19 April 26 April 27 April, by 5pm
20-26 April 3 May 4 May, by 5pm
27 April – 3 May 10 May 11 May, by 5pm
4-6 May 13 May 14 May, by 5pm

One hundred and eighty-one parties were required to submit weekly reports to the Commission. We have currently received donation reports from 104 parties and borrowing reports from 101 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.

In addition to weekly donation and borrowing reports during the UK general election period, political parties are also required to report donations and borrowing on a quarterly basis. We will publish donations and borrowing for first quarter of 2010 (January to March) on Tuesday 4 May. We will publish donations and borrowing for the second quarter of 2010 (April to June) in August.

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. 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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