Conservative Party tops donations list

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The Conservative Party received £7.4m in donations in the final three months of 2018, more than four times the amount given to Labour, figures show.

Labour had £1.6m in donations, the Lib Dems £950,272 and the SNP £15,240, according to the Electoral Commission.

UKIP received only £13,000 – less than centrist party Renew’s £53,000 and the Scottish Green Party’s £48,541.

The figures do not represent all donations to political parties, as only those above £7,500 have to be reported.

The biggest gift to the Tories – and the highest since 2014 – was £1.5m from regular donor John Gore.

The October donation was the Tony Award-winning producer’s sixth contribution to the party in two years, totalling £2.6m.

Another Tory donor, Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former minister for Russian President Vladimir Putin, gave £146,750 in the same period.

She has given £875,882 to the party since the beginning of 2014, with the largest single donation of £161,000 in the election year of 2017.

Construction vehicle manufacturer JCB gave £666,667 and ex-Tory treasurer Michael Spencer’s IPGL gave £506,188.

Meanwhile, Labour’s biggest donation in the period was £490,300, from the Unite union. In 2018, the party received £6.5m in total from unions.

Opposition parties are also given “short money” – public funds set aside for the parties for parliamentary duties.

Labour received £2,131,978 from public funds, the Liberal Democrats £249,937 and the SNP £197,772.

In 2018, the Conservatives received donations totalling more than £21m, Labour were given £7m and the Liberal Democrats £2.8m.

Total income reported by political parties for Q4 2018 (donations and public funds)

1. Conservatives – £7.4m

2. Labour – £3.7m

3. Lib Dems – £1.2m

4. SNP – £213,012

5. Women’s Equality Party – £173,616

6. DUP – £113,413

7. Green Party – £113,136

8. Sinn Fein – £93,566

9. Renew – £53,000

10. Scottish Green Party – £48,541

11. Co-operative Party – £44,705

12. Plaid Cymru – £35,649

13. Alliance Party of Northern Ireland – £25,604

14. Ulster Unionist Party – £23,236

15. SDLP – £19,360

16. UKIP – £13,000


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