UK Politics

Conservatives top quarterly donations list

The Conservatives raised £3.69m in donations between July and September, according to official figures released by the Electoral Commission.

The Tories topped the donations table for the third quarter of 2010, ahead of Labour which received £2.31m.

The Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party received £350,645 and £454,234 respectively.

A total of £7.2m was given to British political parties over the period, the electoral watchdog said.

Separate figures for borrowing show parties have amassed £14.9m in loans that have yet to be repaid.

Of these, Labour's outstanding loans total £9.8m while the Conservatives owe £2.8m. The Lib Dems have £488,344 to repay while the SNP owe £484,503.

Under Electoral Commission rules, only gifts totalling £7,500 or more for a central party, or £1,500 for a constituency association, have to be declared.

The watchdog said 56 donations - including 27 to the Conservatives and 22 to the Lib Dems - were reported late during the period in question, an increase on the previous quarter.

From next month, the watchdog said it would have a "wider range" of sanctions and penalties to deal with late reporting.

It said these would range from requiring parties to review their procedures to, in serious and repeated cases of non-compliance, the prospect of fines.

Political parties raised a record £26.3m in donations in the run-up to May's general election.

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