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QUARTERLY DONATIONS TO POLITICAL PARTIES PUBLICISED

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Donations made to political parties during the second quarter of this year are published today by the Electoral Com...
Donations made to political parties during the second quarter of this year are published today by the Electoral Commission. This includes all reportable donations accepted by parties during the general election. They will be listed on the commission's website.

147 political parties on the Great Britain register were required to submit quarterly donation reports to the commission. 96 declared that no reportable donations were received and nine parties have reported donations. These include:

* Labour Party received donations totalling over£5.3m.

* The Conservative Party received donations totalling over£12.4m.

* The Liberal Democrats received just under£840,000.

* UK Independence Party donations totalled just over£690,000.

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) requires registered political parties to submit quarterly donation reports to the Electoral Commission. These reports must include all donations over£5,000 to main political party offices and over£1,000 to constituency or local party offices. Failure to submit these reports is an offence.

PPERA - which came into force on the 16th February 2001 - gives the Electoral Commission authority to oversee new controls on donations to political parties. Parties may only accept donations of over£200 if they are deemed 'permissible' by PPERA. 'Permissible' donors include individuals who are listed on the UK electoral register or companies which are either UK or EU registered and carrying out business in the UK.

NOTES

1. Failing to submit donations reports can have serious implications:

* Failure to submit a return in time: a civil offence is committed by the party (s147(2)) and a criminal offence by the treasurer (s 65(3)).

* Failure to submit a return which meets the requirements of the PPERA: a criminal offence by the treasurer (s.65(4)).

* Making a false declaration on a return: criminal offence by the treasurer (s.66(5)).

2. The Electoral Commission was established on 30 November 2000 by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA). It is independent of government and aims to ensure openness and transparency in the financial affairs of Britain's political parties, and to increase public confidence and participation in the democratic process.

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