United Kingdom

Tories raised £37million in big donations in the run up to the election

The Tories raised £37million in big donations in the run-up to their stunning election victory - almost four times as much as Labour.

The huge sum in the final three months of last year means the Conservatives were given more than all the other main parties put together.

Despite unions handing over millions of pounds for the campaign, the £9.8million racked up by Labour was also lower than the £13.4million for the Lib Dems.

Lord David Sainsbury gave the Remainer party £8million, according to the official register - but they still posted a dismal result in the contest on December 12, with leader Jo Swinson even losing her own seat.

Overall, 2019 was the biggest ever year for significant donations, with parties getting £113million. That was around £40million more than 2017, when the previous record was set.

The Tories raised £37million in big donations in the final three months of last year - almost four times as much as Labour

Jeremy Corbyn (left) led Labour to its worst performance since 1935 on December 12, while Boris Johnson (right) emerged with a huge majority

The Electoral Commission figures include all donations received and accepted worth over £7,500 - or £1,500 for smaller accounting units. 

However, it does not cover smaller gifts, which are disclosed separately in party accounts. 

While Mr Johnson emerged from the election with a majority of 80, Labour slumped to its worst performance since 1935.  

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation at the 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 £28million.

'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.'

Lord David Sainsbury gave the Remainer party £8million, according to the official register - but they still posted a dismal result in the contest on December 12, with leader Jo Swinson (pictured) even losing her own seat