The 150 political parties on the Great Britain register were required to submit quarterly donation reports to the commission. 139 declared that no reportable donations were received and 11 parties have reported donations. The parties with the largest donations are: Labour Party, Conservative Party, SNP, Liberal Democrats, The Co-operative Party, and Plaid Cymru.
-Labour Party received donations totalling over£2.7m
-Conservative Party received just under£1.4m
-SNP received over£240,000
-Liberal Democrats received just over£190,000
-Co-operative Party received£145,000
-Plaid Cymru received£10,000
The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) requires registered political parties to submit quarterly donation reports to the Commission. These reports must include all donations over£5000 to main political party offices and over£1000 to constituency or local party offices. Failure to submit these reports is an offence.
1. PPERA came into force on the 16 February 2001 and gives the 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.
2. 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)).
3. The commission was established on 30 November 2000 by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. 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.
4. Parties on the Northern Ireland register of political parties are exempt from the donation controls for a period of four years.
5. The facility to search the donations from 1 July to 30 September 2001 is available on the Commission's website.