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Who donates what to the Labour party?

10 September 2013

Who donates to Labour? It’s a question asked countless times since Ed Miliband began to reconsider his party’s links with the trade unions but there has been much confusion over the numbers, in particular the importance to Labour of union funding. Here’s a quick guide to who donates how much to the Labour party.

1. How much do Labour receive in donations?
In 2012, Labour received £19 million in donations, which is roughly the same as the year before and in 2008, a similar point in the electoral cycle. It’s still down from £25 million at the last general election:

For comparison, the Conservative party received £14 million in 2012 and the Liberal Democrats £3 million.

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2. How much do the trade unions donate?
Out of the £19 million received last year, £9 million was received via trade unions donations, or 46 per cent. Money from trade unions reached a peak at the last general election at £14 million, or 54 per cent of their total donations. This is how much the unions have given over the last decade (totalling a whopping £113 million):

Of course, unions aren’t the only donors to Labour. Closely followed are individuals, who have collectively also given millions to the party. Miliband is threatening to throttle this stream of revenue too, with a proposed cap of £5,000 on individual donors; although this would hit the Conservative party more. This is how much the top four groups of donors have given since 2002:

If you’re unsure quite what the changes to union funding are, Jim Pickard has produced an excellent Q&A over at FT Westminster. Pickard points out although £8 million may be wiped off their books instantly if the union’s automatic ‘opt in’ is cut, the money will very possibly make its way to Labour through other means.

3. Is Labour in debt?
Yes. Untangling the statement of accounts for any party is tricky but from the last quarterly report in March 2013, the Electoral Commission informs me the party has outstanding loans of just under £10 million. Their loans have remained around the £9.8 million mark since September 2012.

However in April 2013, two new loans were taken out, worth £1,217,500 each, from the Co-op and Unity Trust bank. This brings the total to £12.8 million. With these loans on their book, the possibility of the changes to how Labour is funded leaving the party going bankrupt, as Len McCluskey has suggested, does not look entirely implausible.

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  • Camulod

    Which is the ONLY political party in Britain that is NOT in the red (financially or otherwise)?

    You guessed it – the British National Party – the ONLY party that is NOT subservient to the banksters.

    Hence the reason we are demonised.

  • Rockin Ron

    Where is all this heading? I would suggest all the main political parties are softening up public opinion to make a stronger case for the State funding of political parties. This should be strongly resisted.

  • John Smith

    The irony of them getting themselves into debt will be lost on many ..

  • McRobbie

    And where do the unions get the vast majority of their money..from the public sector…paid from our taxes….so the labour party is already mainly financed from public money.

    • Russell

      Plus over £5million in ‘short money’ taken directly from the taxpayer whether they like it or not!

  • AnotherDaveB
  • AnotherDaveB

    I’d be interested to see a similar breakdown of the finances of the Conservatives, LDs, and UKIP.

  • Alexsandr

    just hope this isnt an overture to state funding of political parties.
    A party that cannot fund itself from its membership has no right to exist.
    but state funding will just fossilise the current liblabcon. We would never see new parties again cos they could not compete with the incumbent dinosaurs.

    • telemachus

      If that stops Ukip that is a good thing

  • george

    bankrupted the country, helped in bankrupting the co-op bank, bankrupted themselves … I think theres a pattern here but I cant quite put my finger on it.

    • Shazza

      Morally bankrupt as well. They and their moslem friends have ‘taqiyya’ in common – lying to them is perfectly moral as long as it serves their purpose; just a means to an end, i.e., the destruction and replacement of the indigenous population to achieve their multiculti wet dream. But this dream is going to turn into a nightmare when Labour morphs into the Muslim Brotherhood.

      • telemachus

        Let us turn away from racialist slurs
        When the history of the “Noughties” is written the world hero will be Gordon Brown who saved the world’s banks after the Lehman Collapse

        • Colonel Mustard

          Then you turn away from them too and stop referring to indigenous Englishmen who care about the survival of their race as “little englanders” which is racist and offensive.

          And your comment about Brown is as ridiculous as ever. It is up there with North Korea’s “dear leader” in terms of propaganda.

          • telemachus

            Why on earth should anyone reasonable be concerned about maintaining the current strain of Englishness that has been evolving for 1500 years
            It is akin to the stupidity of the French Language police
            We are proud that our language has conquered to world and continues to evolve
            So we rejoice that our people metamorphose and evolve with cross-fertilisation of our gene pool and culture
            It is this way that the people of these isles will always deserve the epithet of “Great” Britain

            • Colonel Mustard

              Which is tripe and as usual has absolutely nothing to do with my comment.

              Newsflash: You are NOT reasonable. In fact far from it as any cursory review of your multitude of repetitively inane comments here will demonstrate.

              • telemachus

                Examination of the thread will show my very relevant response, the thrust of which you cannot refute

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I can refute 99.9% of the moronic rubbish you post. It’s a question of being bothered enough to do so rather than capability.

                  The “thrust” of your comments are generally so predictable and hagiographic towards Brown and Balls that they would be more honestly incorporated as a permanent sidebar advert for the Labour party. Or you could save yourself much time and just write the two words “Vote Labour” in every thread which would at least be relevant to the subliminal advertising illustrating this one.

                  It really is quite pathetic that you must think you are making a difference here. Your comments are the virtual equivalent of a particularly irritating and persistent fly buzzing around one’s picnic. Your arrogance and hubris and the essential dishonesty of much of what you have to say perfectly reflect the party you post propaganda for. Your main stock in trade, as with all fanatical socialists, is to demonise and pejoratively label those who dare to dissent from your orthodoxy, setting up your own moral kangaroo court to denounce perfectly legitimate political diversity.

                  Rather than accepting political pluralism and countering arguments on an objective basis you resort to silly labelled denouncements like “Mahknovist”, etc., a ploy reminiscent of something especially puerile from Mao’s China in the 1960’s. Hardly surprising as you seem to live in a world of silly soviet romanticism revealing your essentially authoritarian communist soul.

                  “Reasonable” and “caring”? Don’t make me laugh. The essential ingredient of honesty is missing from almost every comment you make. You are perhaps the best and most transparent advert for the duplicitous dishonesty and cynical conniving that characterises the Labour party. The real and deadly enemy of anyone who is truly reasonable and who truly cares.

                • telemachus

                  My only retort must be that the reasonable and caring are not synonymous with the Labour Party
                  However they are the best chance this country have of survival and deliverance from those who seek the levers of power to deliver resources onto themselves

                • Colonel Mustard

                  From 1997 to 2010 the Labour party virtually destroyed England. They represent not survival but a very clear and present danger to our survival thanks to their ideology and fellow travellers – q.v. telemachus.

                  It is appalling that one of the architects of the destructive mass immigration and ill-considered devolution that is ripping the UK apart now has the impertinent audacity to bleat about “one nation” as the supposed cornerstone of “the end justifies the means” pursuit of power.

                • telemachus

                  Astonishing, is it not that apparently intelligent folk cannot understand that Gordon and his team were the architects of a recovery that gave us the longest period of prosperity for a century
                  And that folk do not thank Gordon for the rescue of not only our own but the world’s banks from the Lehman collapse

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, not astonishing at all. Some of us can discern truth and reality from the fiction of political propaganda parrots like you.

                  Astonishing that you keep flogging the same dead horse here day after day after day.

                • telemachus

                  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

                  — from Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Address, 1964

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Yes but you and your comrades conflate unarmed truth with adorned lies and unconditional love with prejudiced and preferred discrimination which Dr King never did. Your “love” for those who dissent from your coerced orthodoxy is never “unconditional” as your constant wielding of labels and pejoratives at those who disagree with you attests.

                  And you are on record here as celebrating and advocating the temporarily triumphant evil of Stalin.

                  You also seem to conflate politics with religion, at least in the case of the Labour party as you attempt to elevate its activities to one of a moral crusade. In fact the track record of the Labour party and the left in general is not one of good triumphing over evil but the precise opposite. They are just good at propaganda and lies, like most essentially communist outfits. In order for the truth to fit the desired record and reputation of the left it has to be distorted by the left. Zealotry is seldom truth, rarely love, because it always creates victims.

                • telemachus

                  Politics and religion go hand in hand

                  We do not subscribe to the “We don’t do God” revisionists

                  The problem with the Anglican Church is the establishment of it

                  Far better the Romero approach to the repressive military

                  “We are your people. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters.
                  When you hear the voice of the man commanding you to kill, remember instead the
                  voice of God. Thou Shalt Not Kill….In the name of God, in the name of our
                  tormented people whose cries rise up to heaven, I beseech you, I beg you, I
                  command you, stop the repression.”

                  The current Pope is moving in the right direction

                • Colonel Mustard

                  What a load of codswallop, even for you. You cannot bring a reasoned argument but instead just duck, dive and jab with your silly second hand soundbites.

                  We know well the agenda of thinly veiled communism that lies behind the modern British socialist collective, behind the socialist revolution. Your lies and pretences won’t change that. You have set out to destroy. Your creed is destruction, deployed with religious zeal. The greatest threat to liberty this country has ever known.

                • telemachus

                  But nobody dies
                  No firing squads
                  Just a few home counties shotguns up for auction

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I don’t live in the Home Counties or own a shotgun.

                  And you have ducked, dived and jabbed yet again. Not very edifying for someone with such a big head and an opinion and mouth to go with it.

                • HookesLaw

                  Brown did not save the world except perhaps inside his own somewhat unhinged head.
                  Brown rescued nothing – admittedly he did try to rescue his reputation and the survival of his government by delaying necessary measures such as regaining control of govt spending and instead spending further vast amounts of money he did not have.

                  A temporary cut in VAT was a farce designed make people ‘feel good’ before the election. All Brown did was encourage a temporary and good old fashioned pre election boom to prop him up in his otherwise totally untenable position.

                  The measures the world took following the crash were nothing particularly to do with Brown.

                • HookesLaw

                  Indeed which is why people should not wast their vote on UKIP – the anti-intellectual party)

                • HookesLaw

                  Labour are a disaster waiting to happen for the country. Like always.

              • Bob339

                He simply will not take his medication.

        • Bob339

          Oh let me guess? A little troll who is non-native? Quel Surprise!

          • telemachus

            A Hugenot a couple of centuries ago

        • jp99

          Islam is not a race.


          Why did Lehmann’s collapse. Well, here’s a hint. Lehmann’s opened an office in the City – indeed, opened by the Great Moron. Why did they do so? (AIG did too).

          They did so because from the City, they could enact derivative related transactions that the SEC forbade them from doing in the States.

          The rest is history. There’s an argument that the Big Frit was responsible for the crash.

          • jp99

            Cat got your tongue, Telemachus – or have I got you bang to rights? On both counts. Brown was, is and ever will be a *ucking menace.

    • telemachus

      Rescued the country and the world banks from the effects of US Lehman and beyond
      Prevented a run on the Coop Bank induced by City Greed by not withdrawing one of its major accounts
      No chance of bankrupting the party with major donations about to come in for the impending election and victory
      I would say that is a pretty good record

    • redteddy

      Another Tory nutter. It was not Labour who bankrupt the country and the global economy, that is fact, not Tory fiction. It was the banks, and the hedge fund who wrecked the British and Global economy. Labour’s fault is that it gave the banks far too much freedom, with the full support of the Tories of course.
      ..You comments on the Co-op Bank should be redirected to George Osborne. He had thirty meetings with the Co-op Bank board. He was asking the Co-op Bank to take over the Lloyds Bank branches. It was at that juncture that the Hedge Funds moved into the bank to point it away from its original mutual aim. It is then that the rot set in. So your accusation against Ed Miliband is pure fiction of the Tory kind. You really should, at least, try and get hold of the true facts. You certainly should go back to Kinder Garden, you would certainly be bottom of the class there. What an idiot you are.

      • george

        sorry .. not tory .. or ukip .. or liberal. Labour voter till I ran into the blatant corruption in the local labour council and then there was the bullying from Unite members in my workplace quietly ignored.
        Not fiction – fact.

        far as I’m concerned the ‘labour movement’ in this country is corrupt and incompetent from top to bottom.
        My comments are mocking … your tribal, personal, childish abuse marks you as the idiot.

        • redteddy

          I have heard all this before. You could take it straight from the front page of the Daily Mail. Bullying Unite workers treated me badly. Again, straight from the Mail. More fairy stories. Corrupt Labour Council, yes and all Tory councils are bloody perfect. You must think everyone is as idiotic as you. I have little time for lying cry babies. You must be a mate of Clegg and Blair, you know a serial liar.

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