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Top parties cashed in almost £21m in donations over two months

Twelve political parties in Great Britain accepted almost £21m in donations between April and June, while six accepted almost £2m from public funds, according to new figures published by the Electoral Commission today (19 August).

The first quarter of 2015, ahead of the general election, saw the largest total figure for any single quarter, with 10 parties alone reporting more than £30m in donations.

In Q2, the Conservatives topped the list with almost £10m donations accepted on 572 separate occasions, closely followed by almost £8m spread throughout 402 donations to the Labour Party.

UKIP and the Liberal Democrats pocketed more than £2m and £1m respectively.

However there was a decrease in the value of outstanding loans to parties, which stood at almost £7m in June – a decrease of around £6.5m compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The top donors for this year’s second quarter were Unite the Union and GMB, which donated over £1m each to the Labour party.

Northern & Shell Media Group, which publishes the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers and their Sunday equivalents and is owned by Richard Desmond, donated around £1m to UKIP.

‘Individuals’ forked out the largest sums of donations – almost £9m in Q2 – while companies and trade unions donated similar sums between £5m and £6m.

The independent party funding watchdog did not receive a response from 36 other parties that are now required to provide a reasonable explanation as to why they missed the deadline.


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