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Political parties' latest donations and borrowing figures published

Published: 2 Dec 2008

Sixteen political parties registered in Great Britain reported just over £13.5 million in donations accepted between July and September of 2008 the largest quarterly total this year according to new figures from the Electoral Commission.

In addition, six parties received payments from public funds totalling just over £2 million during the same period.

As at 30 September 2008, total borrowing stood at just over £31 million.

The Commission's registers of donations and borrowing for the third quarter of 2008 show that:

Donations

  • 16 political parties reported donations totalling £13,545,577 (excluding public funds) accepted between 1 July and 30 September.
  • Six parties received £2,042,480 in public funds.
  • The accounting units of six parties reported individual donations this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters. The total amount of donations reported late was £114,364.
  • 12 out of the 321 registered parties failed to provide their required donation return on time.

Borrowing

  • Five parties entered into new borrowing totalling £235,777.
  • The total amount of repaid borrowing reported was £2,402,215 (including loans converted to donations).
  • Total borrowing now stands at £31,016,996.
  • The accounting units of three parties reported individual loans this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters. The total amount of borrowing reported late was £9,500.
  • 15 registered parties failed to provide their required borrowing return on time.

Parties who failed to provide a donation or a borrowing return on time will automatically incur a penalty.

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

 

Peter Wardle, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, said: "We are pleased that more parties submitted returns on time this quarter and that no central parties reported individual donations or loans late. The general trend over the last few quarters has been towards more timely reporting by political parties.

"Late reporting of individual donations and loans this quarter was by local branches of parties rather than central offices. These are generally staffed by volunteers and we will continue to support them with advice and guidance. At the same time, as a responsible regulator, we need a flexible and proportionate range of sanctions to deploy where appropriate and are pleased to see these included in the Political Parties and Elections Bill currently before Parliament."

 

DONATIONS

Donations to political parties accepted in quarter three 2008 (July to September)

Party Donations excluding public funds (£) Public funds (£) Donations total (£)

Better Bedford Independent Party

27,676

0

27,676

Christian Peoples Alliance

3,255

0

3,255

Communist Party  of Britain

18,056

0

18,056

Conservative and Unionist Party

4,060,633

1,254,638

5,315,271

Co-operative Party

307,738

0

307,738

Green Party

188,000

0

188,000

Labour Party

7,569,090

80,657

7,649,747

Liberal Democrats

599,177

573,308

1,172,485

Mum's Army

8,973

0

8,973

mums4justice

8,973

0

8,973

New Party

50,000

0

50,000

Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

551,000

34,032

585,032

Scottish Green Party

5,022

4,692

9,714

Scottish National Party

105,348

95,153

200,501

UK Independence Party

33,663

0

33,663

women4theworld

8,973

0

8,973

Total

13,545,577

2,042,480

15,588,057

Note:  This total does not include donations which parties identified as impermissible and returned to the donor. These can be viewed on the registers on our website.

Public funds

The Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party received a total of £1,636,865 in Short money, which is paid directly by the UK Parliament to opposition parties in the House of Commons.

The Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and Scottish Green Party received £135,513 in assistance paid directly to opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament.

The Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats also received a total of £92,850 in Cranborne money which is for opposition parties in the House of Lords.  

The Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru  and the Scottish National Party received a total of £177,253 in Policy Development Grants which are allocated according to a formula approved by the UK Parliament and paid by the Electoral Commission.

 

BORROWING

 

New borrowing in quarter three 2008 (July to September)

Party

Total amount of new borrowing (£)

Conservative and Unionist Party

45,000

Labour Party

128,777

Left List

10,000

Liberal Democrats

2,000

Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

50,000

Total new borrowing

235,777

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.

 

Borrowing repaid in quarter three 2008 (July to September)

Party Loans converted to donations (£) Total amount repaid (£)

Better Bedford Party

27,676

27,676

Labour Party

2,250,000

2,252,500

Liberal Democrats

0

13,789

Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

0

108,250

Total borrowing repaid

2,277,676

2,402,215


Note: Changes to terms and conditions of borrowings (such as changes to interest rate and repayment or review date) must be reported to the Electoral Commission. These details are available to view on the Commission website.

 

Total borrowing (including loans, credit facilities and connected transactions) by party as at 30 September 2008 

Party Loans (£) Credit facilities (£) Connected transactions (£) Total (£)

Conservative and Unionist Party

6,961,665

5,141,500

10,000

12,113,165

English Democrats

101,447

0

0

101,447

Labour Party

11,553,280

4,209,000

0

15,762,280

Left List

10,000

0

0

10,000

Liberal Democrats

522,170

586,000

25,000

1,133,170

People's Party for a Better Government

7,800

0

0

7,800

Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

9,413

300,000

0

309,413

Progressive Party

100,000

5,000

105,000

210,000

Respect - The Unity Coalition

34,878

0

0

34,878

Scottish National Party

426,343

432,000

190,000

1,048,343

Scottish Socialist Party

63,000

10,000

0

73,000

Scottish Voice

200,000

0

0

200,000

Solidarity Scotland's Socialist Movement

13,500

0

0

13,500

Total borrowing at 30 September 2008

20,003,497

10,683,500

330,000

31,016,996

Note: In previous quarters we have reported a total in the press release and the additional columns above have been available on our website.

 

LATE REPORTING OF DONATIONS AND BORROWING

Donations reported this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters totalled £114,364.

Donations accepted in previous quarters and reported late this quarter

Number of donations (£)
Party Donations total (£) Number of donations

Co-operative Party

28,207

4

Conservative and Unionist Party

40,000

11

Green Party

10,000

2

Labour Party

16,167

7

Liberal Democrats

14,990

7

Plaid Cymru

5,000

1

Total donations reported late

114,364

32

 

Borrowing reported this quarter that were entered into during previous quarters totalled £9,500

Borrowing reported this quarter that should have been reported in previous quarters

Number of loans (£)
Party Borrowing total (£)

Conservative and Unionist Party (new loan)

5,000

1

Labour Party (repaid loan not previously reported)

2,500

1

Liberal Democrats (change of terms of loan)

2,000

1

Total borrowing reported late

9,500

3

 


 

/ends

For further information contact:

The Electoral Commission press office on 0207 271 0704

Out of office hours 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 UKs democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections.

2. The figures reported for donations and borrowing have been rounded to the nearest £. Exact figures are available on our website.

3. Charts and tables providing comparisons to previous quarters can be accessed at: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/party-finance-analysis-Q3 To search the register of donations to political parties, visit the Commissions website www.electoralcommission.org.uk and go to the registers page using the 'party finance' link at the top of the home page.

4. 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

5. Table of donations reported in quarter three 2008 which should have been reported previously can be accessed here in the Lates tab http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0008/68678/Q3-2008-Download.xls:

6. Table of loans and credit facilities reported in quarter three 2008 which should have been reported previously can be accessed here http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/loanstopolparties.cfm/_nocache  through the excel spreadsheet all borrowings reported late during the year 2008

7. Since Q3 2007 the Commission has separated out public funds from the total donations reported so please take care when comparing overall figures to previous quarters where public funds & received donations were combined.

8. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) requires GB and NI registered parties to report cash and non-cash donations and GB registered parties to report loans on a quarterly basis to the Electoral Commission. Parties must report any donation above £5,000 made to the central party, or donations exceeding £1,000 made to a local accounting unit.

9. From 1 November 2007 parties on the Northern Ireland register of political parties were required to conform to donation controls. Quarter four returns 2007 were the first to be reported to the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland. From 1 July 2008 parties on the Northern Ireland register were required to conform to controls on borrowings. This is the first quarter where borrowing has to be reported to the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland. 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.

10. The penalties for failure to submit statutory returns on time can be found at section 147 of PPERA, here:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000041_en_15#pt10-pb5-l1g147

11. 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. 'Permissible' donors include (but are not limited to) individuals who are listed on a UK electoral register, or companies which are registered under the Companies Act 1985 and incorporated within the UK or another EU member state, and carrying on business in the UK

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. Quarter two 2008 figures on donations and borrowing were published by the Electoral Commission on 28 August 2008. 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-borrowings-published

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