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Political parties’ 2016 financial accounts published

Published: 31 Aug 2017

Financial accounts of political parties and their accounting units in Great Britain, with income and expenditure of more than £250,000, have been published today by the Electoral Commission. The accounts are for the year ending 31 December 2016.

Party income and expenditure

12 parties in Great Britain reported having gross income or total expenditure in 2016 of more than £250,000. In total, these parties reported £101,255,804 income and £94,254,237 expenditure.

Compared to 2015, income for larger parties decreased by around £17.1m and expenditure decreased by just under £21.4.

In 2016, 12 parties reported income or expenditure of more than £250,000 compared to 10 in 2015.

Party

Income

Expenditure

Labour Party

£49,840,000

£43,324,000

Conservative and Unionist Party

£28,303,000

£27,756,000

Liberal Democrats

£8,524,031

£7,721,722

Scottish National Party (SNP)

£4,873,386

£6,174,393

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

£3,357,726

£2,992,297

Green Party

£2,165,032

£2,086,592

Women's Equality Party

£1,127,228

£1,288,415

Co-operative Party

£1,062,178

£986,218

Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

£739,323

£817,667

Scottish Green Party

£448,142

£629,626

British National Party

£416,533

£383,300

The Socialist Party of Great Britain

£399,225

£94,007

Chart showing breakdown of political party income in 2016

Chart showing breakdown of political party spending in 2016

Accounting unit income and expenditure

Political parties may also register ‘accounting units’ with the Electoral Commission. These are constituent or affiliated units of a political party, including constituency parties, which operate separate finances from the main party.

11 accounting units reported income or expenditure of more than £250,000. In total these accounting units reported £8,394,396 income and £7,984,177 expenditure.

Party

Accounting unit

Income

Expenditure

Conservative and Unionist Party

Braintree

£267,833

£45,039

Conservative and Unionist Party

Cities of London & Westminster

£396,109

£364,110

Labour Party

National Trade Union Liaison

£267,461

£271,922

Labour Party

Scottish Labour Party

£400,436

£504,402

Liberal Democrats

ALDC

£555,302

£577,014

Liberal Democrats

Parliamentary Office of the Liberal Democrats

£1,068,022

£1,065,322

Liberal Democrats

Scotland

£771,984

£591,663

Liberal Democrats

England

£2,392,271

£2,411,306

Liberal Democrats

London

£250,262

£294,304

Scottish National Party (SNP)

SNP Westminster Parliament Group

£1,767,971

£1,584,701

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

South East Regional Branch

£256,745

£274,394

Bob Posner, Director of Political Finance and Regulation and Legal Counsel, said:

“The availability of these accounts are important for the transparency of political finance outside of election campaigns. People should be able to see how parties raise and spend money and be assured that their accounting is accurate and assessed by an independent auditor.

“It is disappointing that some parties have failed to comply with the requirements clearly set out in law and in our guidance. We will consider each of the failures in line with our enforcement police and may impose sanctions.”

Late submissions

The deadline for parties and accounting units with income or expenditure of more than £250,000 to submit audited accounts to the Electoral Commission was 7 July.

Two parties, the British National Party and The Socialist Party of Great Britain, submitted their accounts after the deadline. In addition, The Socialist Party of Great Britain failed to deliver an auditor’s report with their accounts.

One accounting unit of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the South East Regional Branch, also failed to provide an accompanying auditor report with their submission. Political parties and their accounting units with income or expenditure of more than £250,000 are required by law to independently audit their accounts and include this report in their submission.

The Commission will consider each of these reporting failures in line with its established Enforcement Policy.

Ends

Full details of the financial accounts published today can be viewed on our website here

Last month the Electoral Commission published the financial accounts of parties and accounting units with income or expenditure of £250,000 or less. For more information, click here.

For further information contact:

Cary Mitchell in the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0555 or cmitchell@electoralcommission.org.uk

Out of office hours 07789 920 414

Notes to editors:

1. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK, reporting to the UK and Scottish Parliaments. 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, focusing 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

2. Accounting units with income and expenditure that are either £25,000 or less are not required to submit their accounts.

3. The fact that a Statement of Accounts has been placed on the Commission’s website should not be taken to indicate that the Electoral Commission has verified or validated it in any way.

4. Figures for income and expenditure may have been rounded. Please see online database for exact amounts.

5. Details of how failures to submit Statement of Accounts by the deadline have been dealt with in the past can be found in our publication of Closed Cases.

Journalist