Political parties report donations of £51m in 2022

Political parties report donations of £51m in 2022

Political parties registered in the UK have reported accepting over £51 million in donations and public funds during 2022, according to figures published today by the Electoral Commission.

Parties and campaigners reported accepting a total of £51,594,424 in 2022, compared to £51,290,954 in 2021, with £14,779,158 of the 2022 total accepted in the final quarter of the year (October to December). 

Louise Edwards, the Electoral Commission’s Director of Regulation, said:

“We know that voters are interested in the source and recipients of political donations, but that public confidence in the transparency of party and campaigner finance is declining. We publish this information so that voters understand where the money is coming from. This is intended to give voters confidence in the system. 

“However, just having information about who donors are and how much they’re donating is not enough to build confidence that the system is truly transparent. We have recommended reforms to UK government, which would help strengthen the political finance system further.”

Political parties are required to submit quarterly donation and loan returns to the Electoral Commission. Within these returns, parties report:

  • donations accepted above the £7,500 threshold (over £1,500 for accounting units)
  • smaller donations from a single donor which exceed the reporting threshold when taken together
  • impermissible donations they have received and the action taken in relation to these.

Parties can also report donations which should have been reported in previous quarters.

The political parties to report donations in quarter four of 2022, including public funds, were:

Party

Total reported

Donations accepted (excl. public funds)

Public funds accepted

Total accepted in this quarter

Alliance - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

£56,966

£25,000

£31,966

£56,966

Breakthrough Party

£40,000

£0

£0

£0

Conservative and Unionist Party (GB)

£4,858,373

 

£4,744,114

 

£31,833

£4,775,947

 

Conservative and Unionist Party (NI)

£10,881

£10,881

£0

£10,881

Co-operative Party

£47,444

£47,444

£0

£47,444

Democratic Unionist Party - D.U.P.

£86,066

£0

£86,066

£86,066

Green Party

£172,192

£122,202

£46,778

£168,980

Labour Party

£7,220,437

£5,054,462

£2,119,808

£7,174,270

Liberal Democrats

£1,432,226

 

£966,851

£377,637

£1,344,488

People Before Profit Alliance

£13,164

£2,100

£4,764

£6,864

Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

£34,719

£7,000

£27,719

£34,719

Scottish Green Party

£52,139

£47,761

£4,378

£52,139

Scottish National Party (SNP)

£538,339

£251,000

£287,339

£538,339

SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party)

£148,816

£0

£50,105

£50,105

Sinn Féin

£232,814

£150,000

£82,814

£232,814

Social Democratic Party

£20,000

£20,000

£0

£20,000

The Reclaim Party

£75,000

£75,000

£0

£75,000

Traditional Unionist Voice – TUV

£6,783

£0

£6,783

£6,783

True & Fair Party

£54,500

£54,500

£0

£54,500

Ulster Unionist Party

£22,854

£0

£22,854

£22,854

Women's Equality Party

£25,000

£20,000

£0

£20,000

Total

£15,148,712

£11,598,315

£3,180,843

£14,779,158

The amount that a political party reports to the Commission may be different to the amount it accepts in a quarter. This is because the amount that a party reports can include donations that were returned because they were impermissible and / or donations reported as part of the wrong quarter.

Parties will likely have received other donations, from different individuals or bodies, that are below the thresholds for reporting to the Commission. Taken as a total sum these can amount to substantial sources of income for parties.

Five parties failed to meet the reporting deadline for this quarter. The Commission will consider each of these matters, as well as donations reported late, in line with its Enforcement Policy, if appropriate. Any sanctions applied will be published at a later date.

Borrowing

There were £2,028,800 of new loans reported in the fourth quarter of 2022. Loans with a value of £620,017 were fully paid off.

Donations accepted by regulated donees in Q4 2022

The Commission also publishes details of donations accepted by regulated donees. Regulated donees are members of registered political parties, holders of relevant elective office and members associations.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, £736,637 in donations were accepted by 89 donees. The total includes cash and non-cash donations, as well as donations towards overseas visits. Full details of cash and non-cash donations are available on our website.

Type of regulated donee

Value of cash and non-cash donations accepted

Value of donations accepted towards overseas visits

Total value of donations accepted

Leadership Candidate

£30,350

£0

£30,350

Mayor

£79,891

£0

£79,891

Member of a Registered Political Party

£6,000

£0

£6,000

Members Association

£117,819

£0

£117,819

MLA - Member of the Legislative Authority of Northern Ireland

£0

£4,110

£4,110

MP – Member of Parliament

£296,714

£199,753

£ 496,467

MSP - Member of the Scottish Parliament

£ 2,000

£0

£2,000

Totals

£532,775

£203,863

£736,637

Further information

A summary of donations reported by parties, including the highest donors and details of late reports, is available on the Commission’s website.

Full details of donations and loans reported in Q4 2022 are available on our political finance register.

Ends

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. The Electoral Commission has recommended for some time that the UK Government and Parliament consider with us how to improve the controls on donations and loans to prevent foreign money being used in UK politics. We continue to recommend reforms that would give voters greater confidence in UK political finance, including:
  • the introduction of a duty on parties for enhanced due diligence and risk assessment of donations, adapted from money laundering regulations
  • the introduction of laws to ensure parties cannot accept money from companies that have not made enough money in the UK to fund their donation or loan
  1. 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. Once the central party has reported a donation or aggregate donation over £7,500 it must report each subsequent donation of more than £1,500 from that source.
  2. As 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 accounts. Information on the political parties’ most recent statements of accounts is available on the Commission’s database.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. There were 351 registered political parties in Great Britain and Northern Ireland during quarter four of 2022. 50 were required to submit a quarterly donation report and 35 to submit borrowing information within the deadline. The remaining political parties have previously submitted four consecutive nil returns. Providing they have not received donations in the last quarter, they are therefore exempt from submitting a report.
  6. More information on what constitutes a regulated donee and their legal reporting requirements is available on our website. Members of Parliament report their accepted donations to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. The registrar then sends these details to the Commission. The Commission identifies any donations that fall within the regulated done rules and we publish these. The Commission has a regulatory role in relation to the permissibility of donations. Members of Scottish Parliament report their accepted donations to the Register of Interests for the Scottish Parliament
  7. All other regulated donees report their donations directly to us. We then publish this information monthly as part of our role in providing greater transparency in political finance in the UK.