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New figures published showing political parties' donations and borrowings

Published: 5 Jun 2008

Political parties accepted £16.6 million in donations between October and December of 2007, according to new figures from the Electoral Commission.

In addition, five parties received over £2.5 million in public funds during this period.

The Commission's registers of donations and borrowing for the fourth quarter of 2007 show that:

Donations

  • 16 political parties accepted donations totalling £16,663,472 (excluding public funds) between 1 October and 31 December.
  • Seven parties reported donations this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters. The total amount of donations reported late was £353,131.
  • Five parties received a total of £2,527,730 in public funds.
  • Three parties the Green Party, the Christian Peoples Alliance and the Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship" all submitted donations returns late and a fine will be issued by the Electoral Commission.

Loans

  • Six parties entered into new borrowing totalling £2,447,921.
  • Three parties reported new borrowings this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters. The total amount of new borrowing reported late was £137,736.
  • A total of £4,926,545 was repaid during this quarter.
  • Four parties reported repaid borrowings that should have been reported in previous quarters. The total amount of repaid borrowings that were reported late was just over £1 million.

This takes the total amount of donations received by parties in 2007 to £ 56.5 million, a figure which includes just under £8.6 million of public funds. The equivalent figure for 2006 was £44.8 million, of which just under £8 million was from public funds.

Total borrowing now stands at just over £35.8 million.

The latest figures can be viewed on the Commissions website: www.electoralcommission.org.uk

DONATIONS

Donations to political parties accepted in quarter four 2007 (October to December)

Party

Donations excluding public funds (£)

Public funds (£)

Donations total (£)

Blah Party

1,000

0

1,000

British National Party

15,000

0

15,000

Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"

62,000

0

62,000

Christian Peoples Alliance

2,816

0

2,816

Conservative and Unionist Party

9,765,432

1,522,068

11,287,500

Co-operative Party

43,394

0

43,394

Green Party

82,250

0

82,250

Labour Party

5,469,916

451,646

5,921,562

Liberal Democrats

946,611

480,857

1,427,468

Mum's Army

7,496

0

7,496

mums4justice

8,973

0

8,973

New Party

25,000

0

25,000

Plaid Cymru The Party of Wales

0

39,383

39,383

Scottish Green Party

12,436

0

12,436

Scottish National Party

144,082

33,776

177,858

UK Independence Party

68,095

0

68,095

women4theworld

8,973

0

8,973

Total

16,663,472

2,527,730

19,191,202

Following identification of an impermissible donation of £950 from Paul Green, which had been accepted by the Glasgow South Labour party, the party has agreed to forfeit £950 without the need for legal proceedings by the Commission. The donation from Mr Green was accepted by the party on 1 June 2007 and Mr Green was not on the electoral register at the time the donation was made.

Public funds

The Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru received a total of £1,657,420 in Short money, which is paid directly by the UK Parliament to opposition parties in the House of Commons. The Conservative Party and Labour Party received £129,850 in assistance paid directly to opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament. The Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats also received a total of £177,555 in Cranborne money which is for opposition parties in the House of Lords. The Labour Party, Conservative Party and Plaid Cymru received £562,905 in Policy Development Grants which are allocated by the UK Parliament according to a formula and paid by the Electoral Commission.

BORROWING

Six parties reported new borrowing this quarter totalling £2,447,921 and total borrowing of £4,926,545 was repaid. Fourteen parties have total borrowing of £35.8 million, a minimal change from quarter two.

Reported borrowing (including loans, overdrafts, credit cards and connected transactions) by party as at 31 December 2007

Party

Total (£)

Better Bedford Independent Party

34,300

Conservative and Unionist Party

12,862,827

English Democrats

101,447

Labour Party

19,826,256

Liberal Democrats

1,151,803

People's Party for a Better Government

7,800

Plaid Cymru The Party of Wales

311,413

Progressive Party

210,000

Respect The Unity Coalition

34,878

Scottish National Party

1,048,343

Scottish Socialist Party

73,000

Scottish Voice

150,000

Solidarity Scotland's Socialist Movement

13,500

UK Independence Party

19,200

 

35,844,767

New borrowing in quarter four 2007 (October to December)

Party

Total amount of new borrowing (£)

Conservative and Unionist Party

26,017

Labour Party

2,011,364

Liberal Democrats

103,041

Plaid Cymru The Party of Wales

80,000

Scottish National Party

225,000

Solidarity Scotlands Socialist Movement

2,500

Total new borrowing

2,447,921

Note: Further details including the date the loan was entered into, date repayable, interest rate (whether fixed, variable or nil), whether security was given and details of the lender are available on the Electoral Commission website www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Borrowing repaid in quarter four 2007

Party

Total value

Conservative and Unionist Party

3,553,310

Labour Party

1,359,000

Liberal Democrats

14,235

Total borrowing repaid

4,926,545

LATE REPORTING

Donations reported this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters totalled £353,131 and borrowings reported in this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters totalled £137,736. In addition, repaid borrowing reported in this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters totalled just over £1 million.

Donations accepted in previous quarters and reported late this quarter

Party

Donations total (£)

Number of donations

Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"

93,000

7

Conservative and Unionist Party

43,475

13

Co-operative Party

22,304

2

Labour Party

56,896

34

Liberal Democrats

118,732

14

Scottish National Party

15,742

5

UK Independence Party

2,983

2

Total donations reported late

353,131

77

Borrowing taken in previous quarters and reported late this quarter

Party

Borrowing total (£)

Conservative and Unionist Party

82,278

Liberal Democrats

2,508

Scottish National Party

52,950

Total borrowing reported late

137,736

Borrowing repaid in previous quarters and reported late this quarter

Party

Repaid borrowing total (£)

Conservative and Unionist Party

4,208

Labour

1,004,500

Liberal Democrats

3,945

Plaid Cymru The Party of Wales

2,000

Total repaid borrowing reported late

1,014,653

Note: The Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act 200 (PPERA) requires parties to report to the Commission any changes to the reported details of a loan, including its repayment.

Peter Wardle, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, said: "The requirement for parties to report donations and loans to the Commission is fundamental in ensuring transparency in our democracy. It puts information about the way parties are funded in the hands of the voting public.

"However, it is unacceptable that major political parties continue to report donations and loans late, which means that we do not have a complete picture of party funding in each quarter. We have taken action and imposed civil penalties on parties that submitted late returns. But current legislation does not give the Commission the power to impose reasonable and proportionate penalties on parties where their returns include details of donations or loans received in an earlier quarter.

"We continue to call on Government and the UK Parliament for a more flexible and effective range of penalties and we are pressing for legislation to strengthen the regulatory framework so we have the tools to deal with late reporting. Meanwhile, we are writing to the registered treasurers of all political parties that have reported donations or borrowing late, asking for an assurance that they are taking positive steps to deal with this problem."

For further information contact:

The Electoral Commission press office on 0207 271 0704

Out of office hours 07789 920414

Email press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Journalist