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Labour Party received highest ever amount of private donations last year

07 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking to the media. Photo Jacob King/PA Wire

Labour received its highest-ever yearly amount of private donations across 2023 in a major boost to Sir Keir Starmer’s election war chest.

While the party continued to receive funding from trade unions, the main lift came from individuals and companies – who gave more than £13 million in total.

The biggest backer overall was former Autoglass boss Gary Lubner, who gave £4.5 million, while the largest single donation of £3 million was provided by Lord David Sainsbury, the long-standing Labour supporter.

Lord Sainsbury was a major donor when the party was last in power, serving as a minister in Sir Tony Blair’s government.

He later cut off his support to the party as it shifted to the left under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, but returned to the fold in 2022.

Labour also accepted another £1 million from green energy industrialist Dale Vince’s Ecotricity firm in November, according to figures published by the Electoral Commission.


Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said: “Thanks to Keir Starmer’s leadership, last year was our best fundraising year ever.

“Labour will turn the page on 14 years of Tory failure with a plan to deliver the change Britain deserves.”

The second highest annual sum for private donations to the party was £10.8 million in 2005.

The rise in individual donations comes as Labour holds a sustained double-digit lead over the ruling Conservatives in opinion polls ahead of an election expected later this year.

But the Tories also had a successful fundraising year, including a £10 million bequest from the late Lord John Sainsbury – the cousin of Lord David Sainsbury and former boss of the family’s supermarket company.

The Electoral Commission figures show around £41 million in private cash donations from individuals and companies flowed into the coffers of the central party after a challenging previous year.


The Conservatives had recorded an overall loss in 2022 amid a year of political turmoil which saw three different prime ministers enter Number 10.

Including donations to both the central party and local branches as well as all payments from trade unions, companies, individuals and public funds, Labour received around £31 million across 2023.

Under the same criteria, the Tories secured around £48 million, while the Liberal Democrats reported around £8 million and Reform UK £255,000 for the year.

Some £200,000 came to Reform from First Corporate Consultants Ltd, a company owned by prominent climate sceptic Terence Mordaunt, who previously donated to the Tories.

The party also accepted £10,000 from financier Crispin Odey in August 2023, around two months after misconduct allegations against him emerged, the figures confirm.

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1 month ago

Rather than the largest donations, who has the most and very important, what think tanks and press barons with be backing who (that wont be on any donation list but a real value). Then you have Musk platform that is a cess pit of hate and lies will back the Tory party in the main and then they know how to play facebook (remember Cummings had a chat with Sunak, same Cummings that utilised facebook to game brexit, his action will have people looking at using them again). There is more to who donates and how much. I now hear… Read more »

1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

Oooh, Phoenix Partnership, interesting Tory donor.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
1 month ago

Worrying, Suggests Labour is now ‘bought and paid for’ by vested interests! They no longer represent the ordinary working person and their families. Starmer is no different from Sunak, We need BOTH out!!

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