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Tory fundraising slumps over opening weeks of general election campaign

21 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Photo Stefan Rousseau PA Images

The Conservatives raised less than £300,000 in the second week of the election as the party’s campaign continued to falter.

Figures from the Electoral Commission released on Friday show the party raised just £292,500 between June 6 and 12, taking its total donations for the campaign to £889,000.

That figure is significantly below the £8.7 million the Tories raised in the first two weeks of the 2019 campaign.

The top donations were two contributions of £50,000 from Bestway Wholesale, ultimately owned by Tory peer Lord Zameer Choudrey through the Guernsey-based Bestway Group, and an organisation called “The Spring Lunch”.

The Spring Lunch is an unincorporated association, so does not have to provide records of who controls it, but does list an address in Pulham St Mary, Norfolk, in its details with the Electoral Commission.

Woes

The reluctance of donors to contribute to the Tory campaign adds to Rishi Sunak’s woes at the end of a week in which a series of polls predicted he was on course for a record defeat and his campaign was overshadowed by allegations about gambling.

In contrast, Labour raised £4.4 million in the second week of the election thanks in part to a £2.5 million donation from former supermarket boss Lord David Sainsbury.

Other significant Labour donors include Autoglass chief Gary Lubner, who gave £900,000, and hedge fund manager Martin Taylor, who gave £700,000.

Trade union Aslef provided £100,000 to the party, as did former Cable and Wireless executive Nick Razey.

Labour’s total donations for the first two weeks of the campaign amounted to £5.3 million.

Richard Tice

Reform UK raised £742,000 in the second week of the campaign, largely thanks to a £500,000 donation from Britain Means Business Ltd, a company controlled by party chairman Richard Tice.

The party also received £50,000 from former pop star and Neighbours actor Holly Valance, who hosted a fundraising event for former US president Donald Trump in London two weeks after his conviction for falsifying business records.

It had been reported that Reform had received £1.5 million since Nigel Farage declared he would stand as a candidate in Clacton.

But the figures released on Friday show the party had raised £882,000 in major donations during the first two weeks of the campaign – only just below the figure received by the Conservatives.

The Liberal Democrats received £335,000 in the second week of the campaign, taking their total for the election to £789,999 in donations.

This included another £150,000 from businessman Safwan Adam and a £100,000 bequest from John Faulkner, a long-standing party member who left the party £1 million in his will in 2023.

Political parties are required to provide weekly reports of donations of more than £11,180, after the Government increased the threshold from £7,500 in January.

Parties still have 30 days after receiving a donation to check that it is from a permissible source and decide whether to accept it.


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Gareth
Gareth
24 days ago

Now that the country is in total disarray, and the harm of Brexit begining to bite, and they are about to be deposed, the steady supply of Russian cash has dried up. Strange that ,no?

Last edited 24 days ago by Gareth

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