UK Politics

Conservative Party donations fall by £3.8m

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Donations to the Conservative Party halved in the first three months of 2019, compared with the end of last year, figures show.

The Electoral Commission said £3.7m in donations were accepted by the Tories between 1 January and 31 March, down from £7.5m in the previous quarter.

It had been a "challenging fundraising year" for all parties, the Tories said.

The figures do not represent all donations, as only those above £7,500 have to be reported.

In total, UK parties reported accepting £9.2m - including public funds - during the first three months of 2019.

The party's largest donation in the first quarter of 2019 came from its chief executive and treasurer Sir Michael L Davis, who gave £316,000.

A Conservative Party spokesman said it was "not unusual for donations to be lower at this stage in the political cycle".

In the first quarter of this year, Labour accepted £3,520,000, compared with £3,755,000 in the final quarter of 2018.

The Unite union gave the party nearly £540,000 and Unison £326,000.

The Liberal Democrats accepted £1,004,000, compared with £1,302,000.

And the Greens reported £59,000, compared with £113,000.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) was given £259,000, while UKIP raised almost £118,000.

Public funds are paid to political parties by the commission and other bodies.

This includes Policy Development Grants, to help parties develop policies to include in manifestos, and "short money" paid for by the House of Commons for parliamentary duties.

Total income reported by UK political parties for Q1 2019 (donations and public funds)

1. Conservatives - £3.7m

2. Labour - £3.5m

3. Lib Dems - £1m

4. SNP - £259,034

5. Renew - £149,999

6. UKIP - £117,525

7. Sinn Fein - £89,641

8. DUP - £89,588

9. Green Party - £58,999

10. Communist Party of Britain - £40,000

11. Women's Equality Party - £35,000

12. SDLP - £32,509

13. Ulster Unionist Party - £25,307

14. Plaid Cymru - £24,928

15. Alliance Party of Northern Ireland - £20,739

16. Co-operative Party - £10,150

17. The Radical Party - £10,000

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