Labour Research December 2001


Tory party relies on public funds

Latest figures from the Electoral Commission, which oversees the funding of political parties, reveal the Tories to be reliant on taxpayers' money while the Labour Party is highly dependent on trade unions.

The quarterly figures for June to September show that Conservative Central Office received £1,143,094 in donations from individuals, companies and so-called "Short money" - taxpayers' money to finance the opposition party. But money from the taxpayer accounted for over three-quarters (76.6%) of the sum.

The second largest gift of £144,000 came from conference group IIR, set up by long-time Conservative donor Irvine Laidlaw. The DFS furniture store founder Lord Kirkham stumped up £50,000 while former treasurer Lord Ashcroft managed just £893.

The Labour Party's head office income totalled £2,609,709. And, out of every pound, 91 pence

came from the unions in donations and affiliation fees.

UNISON topped the list of donors with £682,975, followed by general unions T&G, which gave £403,620 and the GMB, who donated £352,451. Shopworkers' union USDAW gave £248,367, manufacturing, science and finance union MSF chipped in with £207,725 and the AEEEU electrical and engineering union gave £203,298.

Corporate donations included £25,000 from The Independent owner Independent News & Media and £7,500 from Compaq Computers.