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Latest figures for political party donations and loans published

Published: 30 Aug 2018

Political parties registered in Great Britain and Northern Ireland reported a total of £8,459,061 in donations between 1 April and 30 June 2018, according to new figures published today by the Electoral Commission.

In Great Britain, 12 political parties reported accepting a total of £8,405,500 in donations in this period. This is almost £1.5 million more when compared to the last reported quarter in 2018, between 1 January and 31 March (£6,914,776).

The 12 political parties to report donations were:

Party

Donations accepted in quarter 2 2018

Aspire

£9,873

Communist Party of Great Britain

£32,859

Conservative and Unionist Party

£4,880,201

Co-operative Party

£489,005

Duma Polska – Polish Pride

£23,000

Green Party

£13,080

Labour Party

£2,121,163

Liberal Democrats

£594,927

Renew

£30,245

Scottish National Party (SNP)

£62,103

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

£114,044

Women’s Equality Party

£35,000

In addition to these donations, during the second quarter of 2018 six parties accepted a total of more than £4.8 million public funds. This can be seen in the summary document.

The totals published today and set out above represent the sum of those donations large enough to be above the legal thresholds. Parties will likely have received other donations from different individuals or bodies that are below the legal thresholds for reporting to the Commission. Taken as total sum these can amount to substantive sources of income for parties.

The value of outstanding loans to political parties in Great Britain as of 30 June 2018 stood at almost £3.8 million, which is an increase of almost £75,000 compared with 31 March 2018 (£3,714,696).

30 parties failed to meet the deadline for reporting for this quarter. The Commission will consider each of these matters in line with its Enforcement Policy, which is available to view here.

Bob Posner, Director of Political Finance and Regulation & Legal Counsel at the Electoral Commission, said:

“Publishing data about party donations and loans on our online database means voters can clearly see where political parties receive their funds from. This leads to a more trusted and transparent political finance system and helps ensure compliance.

“Where parties fail to deliver their return on time, and there is no reasonable explanation for such a failure, we will take a robust approach in dealing with this in line with our Enforcement Policy.”

Northern Ireland

Donations reported by Northern Ireland political parties were also published today. Eight political parties registered in Northern Ireland reported accepting a total of £449,232 in donations and public funds between 1 April and 30 June 2018.

A press release and summary document specific to Northern Ireland have been published on the Commission’s website.

Further information

A summary of donations reported by GB parties in the first quarter of 2018, including the highest donors, is available on the Commission’s website.

Full details of donations and loans are available on our registers.

Full analysis and breakdown of the figures for quarter two 2018 is available on our website.

Ends:

For further information please the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704 or email press@electoralcommission.org.uk.

For out of hours queries, please call 07789 920 414.

Notes to editors

1. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:

  • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focussing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
  • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
  • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency

The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

2. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) requires registered parties to report cash and non-cash donations and borrowing to the Electoral Commission on a quarterly basis. Political parties must report all donations and borrowing over £7,500 relating to the central party, or over £1,500 relating to an accounting unit. This includes aggregates of donations and loans from the same source during the calendar year.

3. As the parties only report donations and loans over these thresholds, the figures do not include all donations and loans to political parties. Donations and loans under these thresholds are recorded in political parties’ annual Statements of Accounts.

4. Public funds are donations from the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Scottish Parliament and the Electoral Commission. ‘Short’ and ‘Cranborne’ grants are available to parties in opposition in the House of Commons or House of Lords respectively.

5. Some donations appear on the register as being from the Electoral Commission. These are Policy Development Grants, which were established by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 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.

6. There were 343 registered political parties in Great Britain during quarter two 2018. 83 were required to submit a quarterly donation report and 75 to submit borrowing information within the deadline. The remaining political parties were exempt (unless they received donations) because they have previously submitted four consecutive nil returns.

7. The figures reported for quarterly donations and borrowing have been rounded. The exact figures are available on our website.

Journalist