Public cash bonanza for Labour at Westminster and Holyrood

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By Martin Kelly
 
The Electoral Commission has revealed that the Labour party has received over £1.6 million in public cash in the second three months of this year.
 
Figures covering April to June 2012 show that Ed Miliband’s party received £1,640,198 from the public purse as part of a scheme to assist opposition parties in developing policies for inclusion in manifestos.

A total of £1,538,879 was paid to Labour’s Westminster arm, whilst Johann Lamont’s Holyrood group were paid £101,319. 

Holyrood opposition payments also saw the Conservatives paid £27,377.  The Lib Dems pocketed £350,441, which included £9,046 for Willie Rennie’s Holyrood team.

The SNP Westminster group of MPs received a total of £42,971.

The second quarter accounts also revealed the Labour party owes almost £10 million in loans, the figure of £9,868,723 does not include any interest.  The SNP’s current debt sits at £424,503.

The Commission also revealed that the Conservative party failed to declare a total of £72,000 within the specified time limit and the Lib Dems were late in declaring £4,792.

Donations revealed the extent to which the Labour party relies on the Unions.  The biggest single donation to any party was handed to Labour by the Unite union who gave the party £840,275.  The USDA union gave Labour £429,558, which was the third largest donation whilst another union, the GMB, gave the party £313,863, the fourth biggest.

The second largest donation, £512,450, was handed to the Conservative party by Mr Michael S Farmer who has now donated almost £3 million to David Cameron’s party.  Mr Farmer founded RK Capital Management whose main fund, Red Kite, is one of the biggest industrial metals hedge funds in the world.

In total, the Conservative party received £3,785,579 in donations which included £197,427 non cash.  Labour received £2,964,471 in donations including £303,266 non cash.  The Lib Dems accepted £717,797, which included £107,812 non cash.

By contrast the SNP recorded just £2,500 in donations for the same three month period.

The breakdown of donations indicates that the SNP relies heavily on donations from individuals; Labour relies on union payments for over 75 per cent of its donations and the Conservative party gets almost 25 per cent from companies and unincorporated associations.