Home / UK / UK political parties report huge rise in donations – The Guardian

UK political parties report huge rise in donations – The Guardian

A total of £15m was donated to Britain’s political parties between April and June, more than double the sum received in the first quarter of this year.

Amid speculation of an autumn snap election, parties have significantly bolstered their campaign war chests.

The Electoral Commission said an extra £8m was accepted by 16 parties in the second quarter of this year than between January and March.

The Conservative party appears to have been buoyed by its change in leader, after Theresa May announced in May that she would be standing down as prime minister.

Her departure triggered a leadership contest that was dominated by her successor, Boris Johnson, and his pledge to deliver Brexit by the 31 October deadline – a promise that appears to have attracted donors.


Countdown to an election?



3 September 2019

The date on which the Commons returns from summer recess.

12 September 2019 –
16 September 2019

Prime minister Boris Johnson has asked the Queen to prorogue parliament during this week. MPs were due to have a recess period anyway for the party conference season. However, proroguing parliament will severely limit the time MPs have to legislate against no deal or hold and win a vote of no confidence in the government. 

22 September 2019 –
2 October 2019

The Labour and Conservative party conferences are due to be held on consecutive weeks.

14 October 2019

This is the date that Johnson is proposing parliament returns for the Queen’s speech setting out a legislation programme for his government.

17 October 2019 –
18 October 2019

EU leaders meet for the final European council summit before the UK’s extension is due to expire. They could possibly agree a new deal at this point – with just about enough time for Johnson to try and get it through parliament.

31 October 2019

The six-month article 50 extension will expire, and prime minister Boris Johnson has pledged that the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal on that date.

1 November 2019

A possible date for a general election if Johnson has been unable to force through his plans, although the date could be sooner if an election is called as a result of the parliamentary showdown between the prime minister and MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexitin early September.

The Electoral Commission reported the Conservative and Unionist party received the highest number of donations of the 16 parties to declare their earnings, taking £5,410,957 in the three-month period. Of that, £5,344,058 was given as donations and £67,000 as public funds.

The second highest total was reported by Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn’s party receiving £5m, and £2.9m of public funds accepted as part of the overall sum.

The Liberal Democrats received £1.8m, with £1.2m given as donations and £600,000 as public funds. The party pulled off its best-ever local election result in May when it returned 1,359 councillors – half of them gains against rivals.

Nigel Farage’s fledgling Brexit party received more than £1m in the second quarter, helping it win 29 seats in the European parliament in May, more than any other party contesting the poll.

The Scottish National party accepted £493,000 in donations, while the Green party, which has a single MP, accepted £174,000. The lowest recorded donation total was £6,000 for the Radical party.

Political parties are required to submit quarterly donation and loan returns to the Electoral Commission. They must report donations accepted above the £7,500 threshold along with impermissible donations.

Louise Edwards, the director of regulation at the commission, said: “Publishing data about party donations and loans on our online database means voters can clearly see where political parties receive their funds from. This leads to a more trusted and transparent political finance system and helps ensure compliance.

“Where parties fail to deliver their return on time, and there is no reasonable explanation for such a failure, we will take a robust approach in dealing with this in line with our enforcement policy.”

UK political parties report huge rise in donations – The Guardian

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