Conservative donations outstrip Labour

Donations rise for new look Tories
Donations rise for new look Tories

The Conservatives received twice the value of donations as Labour in the final four months of 2006, creating speculation that the ongoing loans for peerages inquiry has harmed the Labour party.

Figures released by the Electoral Commission show that the Conservatives received £5,285,440 in the fourth quarter of 2006, almost total to the combined sum obtained by the Liberal Democrats and Labour parties.

For the same period in 2005, the Conservatives received £3,259,889. David Cameron was announced as leader on December 6th 2005 and has since led the party to improved performance in opinion polls.

Labour received £2,642,667, down from £3,025,254 in 2005, causing some to speculate that this is an effect of the ongoing cash for honours investigation.


The Liberal Democrats received £2,318,624, nearly triple the £805,223 donated in the final months of 2005.

In total some 17 parties shared £11.9 million between October and December, bringing overall political donations for 2006 to £44 million.

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires parties to report donations to the commission on a quarterly basis. However, the commission has discovered that a "large number" of donations were reported late in recent quarters.

Peter Wardle, chief executive of the Electoral Commission, said: "Transparency in party finances is vital, and publishing these quarterly reports of donations and borrowing allows the public to see exactly how the political parties are funded.

"The commission will be checking what parties have reported in their 2006 quarterly returns in detail, including ensuring that it matches the parties' annual statements of accounts for 2006, which are due later this year."

The report also shows that eight parties have outstanding borrowing of £60.7 million between them, £46 million of which is made up of loans.

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