Labour raises £350k more than Tories in first week

A hand holds fanned out King Charles banknotes Image source, PA Media
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The Labour Party raised £351,990 more in donations than the Conservatives in the first week of the general election campaign, according to the Electoral Commission.

Labour raised £926,908, followed by the Conservatives on £574,918, and Liberal Democrats with £454,999. The Scottish National Party raised £127,998 and Reform UK £140,000.

This is a huge turnaround on the 2019 election, when the party was led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Back then, the Conservatives attracted £5.7m in the first week of the campaign - which was 87% of all donations - compared to Labour's £218,500.

Altogether, the amounts declared in the first week of the general election campaign are less than half of what was donated in the same period ahead of the 2019 election.

This time round, the biggest donation of £500,000 is to Labour, from Toledo Productions, a company set up by Duncan Kenworthy, who was a producer on Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually.

This was followed by a £150,000 donation from Adam Management to the Lib Dems and £127,998 from Robert Benzie to the SNP.

The biggest Tory donor was Bassim Haidar, who gave the party £88,000. The Lebanese national is the founder of a company specialising in mobile financial and technical services.

Official figures from the Electoral Commission show £3.247m was donated to political parties in the first week of the general election campaign, between 30 May - 5 June.

Of the smaller parties, Reform UK had the largest donation figure of £140,000.

Its biggest donations in the first week of the campaign were £50,000 each from H R Smith Group and Fitriani Hay, the wife of the former BP executive James Hay.

Mrs Hay previously donated £100,000 to the leadership campaign of former Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss.

The Co-operative Party received £120,000 in donations, including £90,000 from Gary Lubner, the former Autoglass boss. It is common for Labour candidates to be on the ballot paper as Labour and Co-operative Party.

The Climate Party and the Social Democratic Party both declared £25,000.

The Green Party has not declared any donations, because they did not meet the £11,000 minimum threshold for declarations.

The total figure includes public funds of £830,218, largely made up of Short money, which is given to opposition parties with more than two MPs and named after the MP Edward Short who first proposed the idea of funding parties per seat.

Although Plaid Cymru did not receive any donations, they did receive £33,194 of public funding.

Louise Edwards of the Electoral Commission said this was the first of six reports on donations to parties, which are "an important part of delivering transparency for voters".