Labour gallop ahead of Tories in donations stakes with £6.2m in EU poll run-up

Labour is way out in front when it comes to political donations, new figures reveal.

The party received £6,186,695 in such funding in the second quarter of the year, well ahead of the Tories on £4,321,937, according to the Electoral Commission.

In total, 12 registered political parties accepted almost £15 million in donations between April and June, up by £3 million on the previous quarter.

The Liberal Democrats received £2,867,678 during the period in the run-up to the EU referendum vote, while Ukip took £1,252,891, the Women's Equality Party accepted donations of £154,570, and the SNP £20,612.

Businessman Lord David Sainsbury donated £2,150,000 to Labour, and £2,125,000 to the Lib Dems.

The Conservatives' biggest individual donor was businessman Gerardo Lopez Fojaca, who gave the party £400,000, while Michael Davis handed them £262,500, the Electoral Commission reports.

Labour's other major contributors were unions, with Unite donating £816,559, and Unison £604,411.

More than £3 million of public funds was also given to political parties in the three-month period.

Ukip was the only significant party to submit its list of donations late, while the Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol Party failed to provide a report at all. 

Electoral Commission spokesman Bob Posner said: "This data is hugely important in ensuring that our party finance system is as transparent as possible and it is therefore always disappointing when there is a failure to meet the statutory deadline.

"Where there is no reasonable explanation for such a failure, we will take a robust approach in dealing with this."

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