Tories pocketed £37 million in run up to election in record year for donations

The Tories pocketed £37 million from backers in the run up to the election, in a record year and quarter for donations.

Political parties accepted a combined total of £113,119,000 in 2019 – the largest value ever reported in one year and almost £40 million more than 2017, the year with the previous largest value of donations.

The blockbuster figure was boosted by the Conservative Party attracting some £37,666,568 in donations between October and December, almost four times as much cash than the Labour Party, which reported just under £10 million.

In previous quarters the Tories attracted a fraction of the donations – around £6 million for each three-month period.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats were handed £8 million by former Labour minister Lord Sainsbury – an outspoken opponent of Brexit .

Lord Sainsbury, once the UK's largest political donor and a minister under Tony Blair , said in 2017 that he would no longer be making contributions to parties.

A Mirror investigation revealed this week how a string of Tory donors ploughed money into northern and midlands seats in an effort to topple Labour's 'red wall'.

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The Brexit Party declared £7,150,000 in donations during the same period.

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation at the Electoral Commission, said: “In the final three months of 2019, political parties reported accepting the highest value of donations in one quarter since our records began. The value of the donations accepted by parties in the last quarter exceeded the previous high, from 2017, by almost £28 million."

She added: “While there is no limit to the value of donations political parties can accept, spending rules are in place during elections to keep the campaign fair.

“Publishing this data allows voters to see clearly how parties in Great Britain are being funded, enhancing public confidence and trust in our democratic processes.”

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