Political parties’ latest donations and borrowing figures published
Published: 25 Nov 2009
Eighteen political parties registered in Great Britain have reported receiving just over £9.5 million in donations, according to new figures published by the independent Electoral Commission.
Political parties accepted the donations, details of which are published today, between July and September 2009. During the same period, five of the parties also received payments from public funds totalling just over £1.9 million.
As at 30 September 2009, the total loans entered into by parties stood at just over £15.7million, credit facilities (such as overdrafts) at just over £13 million and connected transactions (such as guarantees) at £930,000.
The law requires that all donations and borrowing over £5000 to the central party, or over £1000 to an accounting unit, are reported to the Electoral Commission. The Commission publishes all donations over these thresholds on a quarterly basis.
The Commission’s registers of donations and borrowing accepted in the third quarter of 2009 show that:
• Eighteen political parties reported donations totalling £9,532,598 (excluding public funds) accepted between 1 July and 30 September 2009.
• The three political parties to accept the most in donations were:
o Conservative Party - £5,269,186
o Labour party - £3,045,377
o Liberal Democrat party - £816,663
• Five parties also received a total of £1,943,207 in public funds.
• Four out of the 337 registered parties have not yet provided their required donation return and will incur a penalty.
• Five political parties reported 89 donations totalling £127,490 this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters;
• Three parties reported receiving six donations totalling £7,030 from impermissible sources.
• Six parties entered into new loans totalling £320,507.
• The total amount of repaid loans reported was £2,718,628 (including loans converted to donations).
• The total amount of loans outstanding stands at £15,723,968.
• Three political parties reported six new loans totalling £18,536 this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters;
• Three political parties reported the repayment of loans totalling £106,070 this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters (including loans converted to donations);
• Two parties took out new credit facilities totalling £2,010,000;
• The total amount currently available to all parties through credit facilities is £13,063,500;
• There were no new or amended connected transactions;
• The total amount of connected transactions on behalf of parties remains £930,000.
• Five out of the 337 registered parties have not yet provided their required borrowing return and will incur a penalty.
Peter Wardle, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission said:
“We are pleased to see continued improvement in timely reporting from the central parties, with only one donation reported late from the main party HQs. We are disappointed however with the high level of late reported donations from accounting units, especially UKIP, the Green Party and Liberal Democrats.
“We understand pressures on volunteers at local party levels, but it’s important for public confidence that there is transparency in party funding. As the general election approaches, voters may be looking more than ever at how their political parties are funded and it’s important all the information is available to them in a timely manner.
“We will be contacting each party who has reported donations late to make sure that they are fully aware of their legal obligations at all levels of the party. We are also reminding these parties that we offer guidance and advice to help them follow the rules.
”The Commission continues to check the permissibility of donations and borrowing reported to us and where we identify issues of non-compliance we will take action in line with our normal processes.”
A summary of the donations and loans declared in the third quarter of 2009 follows below. Full details of all donations and loans are available on our registers at:
http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/database-of-registers. An analysis of donations in the third quarter is also available at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/party-finance-analysis/party-finance-analysis-Q3-2009
For further information contact:
The Electoral Commission press office on 0207 271 0704
Out of office hours 07789 920414
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 GB and NI registered parties to report cash and non-cash donations and loans on a quarterly basis to the Electoral Commission. Parties must report any donation or loans above £5,000 made to the central party, or donations or loans exceeding £1,000 made to a local accounting unit.
3. Parties may accept donations 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.
4. 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. These are transitional arrangements that will apply until October 2010 at the earliest.
5. The penalties for failure to submit statutory returns on time can be found at section 147 of PPERA, here:
6. Charts and tables providing comparisons to previous quarters can be accessed at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/party-finance-analysis/party-finance-analysis-Q3-2009 and here http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/party-finance-analysis. To search the register of donations to political parties, visit the Commission’s website www.electoralcommission.org.uk and go to the registers page using the 'party finance' link at the top of the home page.
7. Quarter two 2009 figures on donations and borrowing were published by the Electoral Commission on 26 August 2009. The press release can be accessed at: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/news-and-media/news-releases/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-donations/political-parties-latest-donations-and-borrowing-figures-published2
8. The figures reported for donations and borrowing have been rounded to the nearest £. Exact figures are available on our website.
9. Table of donations reported in quarter three 2009 which should have been reported previously can be accessed here http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0005/79646/Late-donations-details.xls
10. Some donations appear on the register as being from the House of Lords or House of Commons. These are Short and Cranborne grants which are available to parties in opposition in the House of Commons and House of Lords respectively.
11. Some donations appear on the register as being from the Electoral Commission. These are Policy Development Grants which were established by PPERA 2000 for parties represented in the Commons by two or more sitting members. The grants are intended to assist parties in developing the policies that they will present in an election manifesto. The legislation provides the total sum of £2 million annually for this purpose. Policy Development Grants became reportable as donations for the first time in quarter three of 2006 as a result of the Electoral Administration Act 2006.
12. Details of all loans can be found here (along with details of interest rates and repayment or review dates): http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/loanstopolparties.cfm/_nocache
13. Credit facilities are an agreement where a registered party is entitled to receive a loan of money from time to time from another person (or organisation). The credit facility will generally have an upper limit specified in the credit facility agreement. Examples of common credit facilities include overdrafts and credit cards. The amount displayed is the maximum that can be borrowed and not the amount that is drawn upon at any one time.
14. Connected transactions are an arrangement where a person (or organisation) gives any form of security on behalf of a political party in respect of a loan or a credit facility arranged with someone other than the party or the person giving security. Where a person (or organisation) has provided security or a guarantee, it is the maximum that they could be liable to pay.
Summary of Q3 2009 donations and borrowing
Donations to all political parties over the last four quarters
|Quarter||Donations excluding public funds (£)||Public funds (£)|
|Quarter three 2009||9,532,598||1,943,207||11,475, 805|
|Quarter two 2009||13,274,056||2,724,230||15,998,286|
|Quarter one 2009||9,447,291||2,133,162||11,580,453|
|Quarter four 2008||9,501,855||2,335,763||11,837,618|
Note: further analysis is available on our website
Donations to political parties received in quarter three 2009 (July to September)
|Party||Donations excluding public funds (£)||Public funds (£)|
|British National Party||20,100||0||20,100|
|Christian Peoples Alliance||3,415||0||3,415|
|Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall||5,954||0||5,954|
|No2EU:Yes to Democracy||6,981||0||6,981|
|Pirate Party UK||210||0||210|
|Plaid Cymru - Party of Wales||13,250||54,079||67,329|
|Scottish Green Party||11,547||0||11,547|
|Scottish National Party||17,237||48,483||65,720|
|United Kingdom First||25,441||0||25,441|
|United Kingdom Independence Party||86,290||0||86,290|
Donations identified as being from impermissable sources
|Party||Identified by party (£)|
|British National Party||6,295||3|
|Pirate Party UK||210||1|
Donations accepted in previous quarters and reported late in this quarter
Donations reported this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarter totalled £127,490.
|Party||Number of donations (accounting units)||Value of donations (£) (accounting units)||Number of donations (National party)|
|United Kingdom Independence Party||16||49,099||0||0|
|Total donations reported late||88||118,990||1||8,500|
The Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party received a total of £1,643,088 in Short money, which is paid directly by the UK Parliament to opposition parties in the House of Commons.
The Conservative Party, Labour Party, and Liberal Democrats received £86,953 in assistance paid directly to opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament.
The Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats also received a total of £131,990 in Cranborne money which is for opposition parties in the House of Lords.
The Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party claimed a total of £81,175 in Policy Development Grants which are allocated according to a formula approved by the UK Parliament and distributed by the Electoral Commission.
New loans in quarter three 2009 (July to September)
|Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"||150,000|
|United Kingdom Independence Party||5,750|
|Total new loans||320,507|
Loans repaid in full or converted to donations in quarter three 2009 (July to September)
|Party||Loans converted to donations (£)||Loans partially converted to donations (£)||Loans repaid in full (£)|
|United Kingdom Independence Party||800||0||11,000||11,800|
Total outstanding loans by party as at 30 September 2009 (not including partial repayments)
|Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"||150,000|
|English Democrats Party||101,447|
|People's Party for Better Government||7,800|
|Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales||9,413|
|Pro Democracy: Libertas.eu||27,000|
|Scottish National Party||439,503|
|Scottish Socialist Party||63,000|
|Solidarity Scotland's Socialist Movement||13,500|
|United Kingdom Independence Party||5,750|
|Total outstanding loans at 30 September 2009||15,723,968|
Increase of credit facilities in quarter three (July to September)
|Total increase of credit facility||2,010,000|
Amount of money available in credit facilities by party as at 30 September 2009
|Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales||300,000|
|Scottish National Party||307,000|
|Scottish Socialist Party||10,000|
|Amount of money available in credit facilities at 30 September 2009||13,063,500|
Total amount of connected transactions as at 30 September 2009
|Scottish National Party||190,000|
|Total amount of connected transactions at 30 September 2009||930,000|
Loans reported this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters
Loans reported this quarter that were entered into during previous quarters totalled £18,536
|Party||Loans total (£)|
|Total loans reported late||18,536||6|
Loans repayments and loans converted to donations reported this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters
Changes to loans reported this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters totalled £106,070
|Party||Loans partially converted to donations (£)||Loans repaid in full (£)|
|Scottish Green Party||0||5,060||5,060|
|Total loans repaid||101,010||5,060||106,070|