Tories received more than £37 million in donations in the run-up to election
PUBLISHED: 14:25 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:25 27 February 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
Donations to the Conservative Party dwarfed those of other parties in the run-up to the general election - with the Tories receiving £37 million in the last three months of 2019.
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In total, a record £69 million was donated to British political parties in a period dominated by the general election, according to the Electoral Commission.
With donations of £13,372,664, the Liberal Democrats amassed more money than Labour, which received £9,833,863, in the last quarter of the year.
The Brexit Party took £7,150,000 in donations, and the SNP £54,169.
Over the course of the year British political parties accepted donations of £113,119,000, another new record.
This is almost £40 million more than was donated in the previous general election year of 2017.
As well as donations, £1,337,718 was given to seven parties from public funds in the last quarter of 2019.
The bulk of the money, £851,526, went to Labour, with the Lib Dems getting £212,627, the SNP £158,891, and the Tories £67,425.
Opposition parties receive the vast majority of public funds as the government is seen to benefit from running Whitehall departments.
Louise Edwards, director of regulation at the Electoral Commission, said: "In the final three months of 2019, political parties reported accepting the highest value of donations in one quarter since our records began.
"The value of the donations accepted by parties in the last quarter exceeded the previous high, from 2017, by almost £28 million.
"While there is no limit to the value of donations political parties can accept, spending rules are in place during elections to keep the campaign fair."
In response to the report the Tories sent a fresh email to supporters pointing to the donations it received from trade unions.
It claimed it was time to "redouble" efforts to raise £500,000 by the time Labour's new leader is in place "or we won't have the resources to match them".
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