Northern Ireland

Sinn Fein has biggest income of Northern Ireland parties

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Sinn Fein continued to have the largest income of all the main parties in Northern Ireland last year - taking in more than £1.2m.

The party spent less than it took in and remains in the black by £76,960.

The figures, published by the Electoral Commission, also reveal that the DUP and the SDLP are in the red.

The Ulster Unionists show a healthier balance than previous years with income of around £440,000 and a balance sheet in the black by around £40,000.

UUP treasurer Mark Cosgrove said he was delighted his party "continued to show a good set of financial figures and looked forward to maintaining these in the future".

Meanwhile, the SDLP is refusing to comment on whether or not some staff have been given notice.

The party's chief executive Michael Savage told the BBC that the SDLP did not comment on staffing matters.

He added the party's financial position was similar to other organisations across Europe especially on the back of election campaigns.

"I acknowledge the party has a deficit which we are addressing as an organisation and a plan is in place to deal with that," he said.

Accounts were also filed by the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland.

It took in £408,127 and spent £391,359 leaving it in the black by £16,768.

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