Donations to the Conservatives plummet following Brexit deadlock

Theresa May will step down as Tory leader next month. Picture: PA
Theresa May will step down as Tory leader next month. Picture: PA
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The number of large donations to the Conservatives has plummeted in the last year as the party became engulfed by its failure to deliver Brexit.

Official figures published today by the Electoral Commission revealed the Tories pulled in £3.6m from across the UK between January and March this year - a sharp decline from the £4.7m the party received in the same time period in 2018.

Total donations to the Conservatives’ central funds have been declining year-on-year since the 2016 vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union.

All parties are required to declare donations from private individuals or organisations that exceed £7,500.

Several prominent donors are understood to have temporarily stopped their financial support for the Tories in the wake of the stalled Brexit process.

Alexander Temerko, who has donated more than £1 million to the party, said last month that the Prime Minister had "alienated" voters on both sides of the Brexit divide.

He added that he was instead donating thousands of pounds in donations straight "to associations and MPs" instead of Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).

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Theresa May last week confirmed her intention to resign as Tory leader on June 7 to allow a leadership contest to begin.

Party bosses are hopeful that a new face in charge and a renewed focus on delivering Brexit will entice donors to return.

But the Tories remain comfortably the best supported party in terms of donations. In the first three months of 2019, Labour pulled in £2,023,714 - largely from the big trade unions. It earned £1,494,267 in the same period last year.

The SNP declared donations of £61,262.

A total of 11 political parties accepted of £6,835,235 in donations in the first quarter of 2019. This was down £3.7m less than the amount accepted in the previous quarter.