Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 14:23 UK

Tories top party spending table

The Tories recorded a 1.57m surplus, down from 4.2m

The Conservatives outspent Labour by more than £5m in 2008 according to financial accounts published by the Electoral Commission.

The Tories had income of £32.3m and spent £31.9m. Labour, which still owes £11m to supporters who made unsecured loans, received £34m and spent £26.2m.

The Liberal Democrats got £5.4m and spent just over £6m.

The British National Party has been fined at least £500 after failing to hand over its accounts in time.

The commission's chief executive, Peter Wardle, said he was "disappointed", adding: "Voters need to be confident that party funding is transparent and that parties will comply with the law."


The 2008 figures show the Scottish National Party received just under £1.8m and spent just over £1.7m.

The commission's report also shows that Sinn Fein had an income of £1.11m and spent £1.14m.

The Co-Operative Party received £983,000 and spent a little over £1m. Plaid Cymru, meanwhile, spent £678,000 and received almost £1m. The UK Independence Party was given £602,000 and spent £588,600.

The Green Party received £546,000 and spent £541,000. The Ulster Unionist Party spent £397,000 and received £383,504. And the SDLP had an income of £291,000 and spent £290,000.

Figures for the Democratic Unionist Party were published separately in May because they involved sums of less than £250,000.

In reports filed by the parties, the Conservatives said they were developing their web-based fundraising, a method US President Barack Obama made extensive use of during his election campaign.

Pensions deficit

Tory deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft's Bearwood Corporate Services Ltd gave the party a donation of £300,000 and donations in kind of £1.3m.

Labour's statement of accounts includes a report saying its financial position has improved and that it is "extremely grateful" to its lenders.

The party was paid £2.1m plus interest by HM Revenue and Customs after it claimed, successfully, for overpayment of VAT.

But Labour blamed "adverse market conditions" for the shift from a pensions surplus of £1.9m to a deficit of £500,000.

The Lib Dems said that, with a general election to be held within the next year, it was "vital to build the party's fund-raising capacity".

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