Tories rake in 50% more than Labour in party donations

© Stefan Wermuth, Toby Melville
The Conservative Party received more than £5 million from significant donors in the final quarter of 2015 – almost twice the amount received by Labour, new Electoral Commission data shows.

According to the figures, the ruling party was given £5.5 million, compared to some £2.67 million handed to Labour. All donations declared were from significant donors, meaning they amounted to more than £7,500. They were logged between October and December 2015.

Labour received £2 million from trade unions, which included £940,000 from Unite and £353,000 from Unison. The party also was given an additional £1.5 million in public funding. The Tories, on the other hand, only received £303,000 from the public purse.

The Lib Dems were given £828,000 worth of party donations and UKIP declared £196,000, which it subsequently topped up with £90,000 of public funds.

Making a surprise entry on the list was the British National Party (BNP), which was stripped of its status as a political party in January after failing to pay a £25 registration fee. The party had received a £150,000 donation.

The Tories insist Labour also received £1.2 million from trade unions in the third quarter of 2015, adding to the £4 million worth of donations the party had already accrued.

Conservative MP for Croydon South, Chris Philp, said the Labour Party is suffering as business donors pull out.

“It's no surprise that private and business donors are abandoning an increasingly extreme Labour Party,” he said.

"Their policies of more spending, more borrowing, higher taxes and printing money would threaten the financial security of every family and business in this country."

Labour is also expected to suffer a dramatic loss of funding as a result of Conservative reforms to trade unions.

Recent analysis shows that the party could lose up to £8 million each year, some £2 million more than expected. Observers say this is because of new rules that change the way unions can give to a political party.

Labour’s general secretary Iain McNicol said that the changes to the system could “seriously and immediately” undermine the party’s finances.

The new regulations mean members of a union have to opt in for their membership fees to contribute to party donations, leaving a quarter of the party’s income is in jeopardy, he warned earlier this month.

McNicol added that there would be “significant consequences” for the changes.