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First pre-poll donations and loans report ahead of EU referendum published

Published: 11 May 2016

Almost £16 million (£15,639,136) in donations to registered campaigners at the EU Referendum have been reported to the Electoral Commission.

Under the European Union Referendum Act 2015, registered campaigners must complete four pre-poll reports setting out what donations and loans they have received over £7,500 between commencement of the Act (1 February 2016) and 22 June 2016. Campaigners must register with the Electoral Commission if they intend to spend more than £10,000 to support a particular outcome at the referendum.

Political parties that are also registered as referendum campaigners are not required to submit donations and loans pre-poll reports. They submit donations and loans reports to the Commission on a quarterly basis under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

The first pre-poll report covers the period from 1 February to 21 April. Of the seventy registered campaigners on 28 April when the first reports were due, there were twelve with reportable donations.

Outcome: Remain

  • Conservatives IN Ltd - £362,534
  • European Movement of the UK Ltd - £57,494
  • Michelle Ovens Ltd - £95,000
  • Scientists for EU Limited - £60,000
  • The IN Campaign Ltd (‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ – designated lead campaigner) - £6,883,684

Total: £7,458,712

Outcome: Leave

  • GO Movement Ltd - £12,000
  • Grassroots Out Ltd - £2,039,925
  • Leave.EU Group Ltd - £3,200,000
  • The Bruges Group - £10,000
  • Trade Unionists Against The European Union - £22,000
  • Vote Leave Limited (designated lead campaigner) - £2,786,500
  • WAGTV Limited - £110,000

Total: £8,180,425

One registered campaigner, Leave.EU Group Ltd, reported three loans totalling £6,000,000. Two other registered campaigners reported loans totalling £63,940 and one campaigner reported a credit facility of £20,000.

A summary report of today’s publication is attached. In order to see details of individual donors, you need to access the information from the Commission’s website here.

The Commission has conducted a review of all unincorporated associations that registered as EU Referendum campaigners. Eleven campaigners were found not to meet the registration requirements. They will be removed from the Commission’s register of referendum campaigners. These campaigners are: Steel GO, Scotland GO, Northern Ireland GO, Left GO, Labour GO, Gibraltar GO, Conservatives GO, Health Professionals GO, Student GO. LGBT GO and Business GO.

One registered campaigner, the ResPublica Trust, failed to submit a donations and loans report. In line with the Commission’s Enforcement Policy, an investigation has been launched into their failure to comply with their legal requirements.

Ends

For further information contact: The Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk Out of office hours 07789 920 414

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 and are responsible for the conduct and regulation of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000.

2. There will be four pre-poll donations and loans reports for the EU referendum. Three pre-poll reports will be published before polling day (23 June). One will be published after polling day. The publication dates can be seen on page 14 of our media handbook here.

3. For more information about the rules for campaigners during the referendum period, see the Commission’s media handbook here.

4. Spending limits for political parties can be seen on page 10 of the Commission’s media handbook. Designated lead campaigners have a spending limit of £7,000,000. Other registered campaigners have a spending limit of £700,000.

5. To see which individuals and organisations have so far registered as campaigners with the Electoral Commission, click here

6. The Commission is continuing to review two registered unincorporated associations.

7. All of the reports that were received by those campaigners that will be removed from the register were nil returns.

8. The first quarterly donations and loans to political parties (January – March 2016) will be published at the end of May 2016.

Journalist