Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 13:36 UK

Parties given 10.7m in donations

A cheque book
The Conservatives received more than half the total donations

Political parties received 10.7m in donations between April and June - up from 8.1m during the previous three months, figures show.

The Conservative Party was given 5.6m, while Labour received 3.8m and the Liberal Democrats 945,192, according to the Electoral Commission.

Labour's debt stands at 17.9m, the Conservatives' at 12.1m and the Lib Dems' at 1.1m.

Some 31 registered parties failed to provide donation details on time.

'Improvements'

This was down from 37 in the previous quarter.

The commission's chief executive, Peter Wardle, said: "Having previously called on parties to address the issue of late reporting of individual donations, we are pleased to see this being addressed and expect to see continued improvements."

For Labour, high-profile donors include comedian Eddie Izzard, who gave just under 10,000, and Steve Lazarides, the grafitti artist Banksy's dealer, who gave just over 120,000.

Businessmen Nigel Doughty and Sir Ronald Cohen, both of whom are regular donors, provided 250,000 each - but the bulk of the party's money has come from the unions.

Loan conversions

High-profile donors to the Conservatives include Dave Whelan, the chairman of Wigan Athletic FC, who gave 250,000.

The BBC understands that loans made to Labour by Lord Sainsbury and Sir Gulam Noon - worth 2m and 250,000 respectively - have been converted into donations.

These were made around the time of the last general election, in 2005, before loans worth more than 5,000 had to be made public, under the terms of the 2006 Electoral Administration Act.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have defended taking money from foreign businessmen - despite it being party policy to crack down on tax exiles.

According to the commission, Bhanu and Sudhir Choudhrie - non-domiciled taxpayers - gave 20,000 each to the party.

A Lib Dem spokeswoman said the two men were on the electoral register in London, and so the party had stuck to the current rules.

The Scottish National Party declared donations worth 13,627 from April to June, while Plaid Cymru declared nothing.

The figures do not include public funding, known as Short money, which totalled 1.3m for the Conservatives, 132,156 for Labour and 637,625 for the Lib Dems.

The SNP was given 81,073 and Plaid Cymru 60,027.

During the first quarter of the year, the Conservatives received 4.2m, with Labour on 3m and the Lib Dems on 470,000.


SEE ALSO
Parties report 8.1m in donations
22 May 08 |  UK Politics
Party funding row 'a sorry tale'
04 Dec 07 |  UK Politics
Parties' funding talks suspended
30 Oct 07 |  UK Politics

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