Conservatives continue to dominate political donations

The Conservatives remain by far the wealthiest of the UK's political parties in terms of donations, new figures have revealed.

Despite losing her majority at June’s snap general election, Theresa May’s party pulled in £3,701,470 from donors between 1 July and 30 September 2017 – the first quarterly reporting period after the UK Parliamentary general election.

The figure represents more than half the total amount donated to seven parties.

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Donations to Labour totalled £1,739,580 and the Libs Dem received £610,444. The SNP received £44,039 - all from a single donor - ahead of UKIP, who declared £35,640.

Trade union Unite was the largest single donor, handing Jeremy Corbyn’s party £1m.

Michael Davis, a South African-born former mining executive, gave the Conservatives £536,000 in the same period.

The figures were published today by the Electoral Commission and cover the third quarter of 2017.

Bob Posner, director of political finance and regulation at the commission, said: “This data is hugely important in ensuring that our political finance system is as transparent as possible across the whole of the UK. We are extremely disappointed that we are unable to provide the public with the information they expected on how political parties in Northern Ireland are funded. The continuing secrecy only serves to undermine trust and confidence amongst the public in the democratic process.

“The commission urges the UK Government without delay to bring forward the legislation that it has already announced, for parliament to approve. This would allow us to publish donations and loans to Northern Ireland parties as soon as possible.”