Tag Archives: donations (Lib Dem)

Lib Dem donations in 2014, 2nd Quarter: £1.23m raised (but that’s less than Ukip)

Today saw the publication by the Electoral Commission, the independent party funding watchdog, of the donations received by the UK’s political parties in the second quarter of 2014 (1 April to 30 June). Here are the figures:

lib dems donations - Q2 2014

And here’s how the BBC reported it:

UKIP have reported more in political donations than the Lib Dems in a quarter for the first time, according to the Electoral Commission. UKIP reported donations of £1.4m from April to June this year – £170,000 more than reported by the Lib

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Lib Dems publish latest accounts: £439k surplus and membership up to 43,451

Libby - Some rights reserved by David SpenderThe latest set of accounts for the Lib Dems have been published – I’ve uploaded it at the foot of this post. (You can compare it with last year’s here.) Here are 5 points that struck me I read through the document.

1) Party bounces back from deficit to surplus

Last year, the Lib Dems recorded a deficit of £410k (described then as a “disappointing result”). This year (ie, the year ending 31 Dec 2013), the party has recorded a healthy overall surplus of £439k, with £7.3m of income and £6.9m of expenditure.

photo by: NCVO
Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 30 Comments

Lib Dem donor arrested as part of Serious Fraud Office investigation

The Financial Times reports:

A prominent Indian backer of the UK Liberal Democrat party and his son were the two suspects arrested earlier this week in connection with an investigation into allegations of bribery by Rolls-Royce. Sudhir Choudhrie and his son Bhanu were arrested on Wednesday as part of the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into alleged bribery in Indonesia and China by the engine and turbine maker. …

A spokesman for the Choudhries confirmed that the pair had been arrested. The pair deny all wrongdoing and are co-operating fully with the investigation, he said. They were granted bail without conditions

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Joan Edwards’ solicitors state her wishes were “specifically checked”: she wanted bequest to go to parties

Another twist to add to the tale of Joan Edwards’ bequest. After the furore whipped-up by today’s Daily Mail, the Lib Dems and Conservatives had little choice but to renounce the cash. But it turns out that, by doing so, the donor’s actual wishes may well have been denied. Here’s the statement from her solicitors, Davis Woods, executors of Miss Edwards’ estate:

We confirm that we act as executors of the late Joan Edwards.

The Will was drafted by a solicitor at Davis Wood in 2001.

At the time of the instructions received from the late Miss Edwards, the solicitor specifically

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Daily Mail accuses “grasping politicians of pocketing spinster’s £500,000 legacy”. Let’s have some facts first, please.

mail grasping politicians front page - 14 aug 13This morning’s Mail Online has a shocking headline: Grasping politicians pocket spinster’s £500,000 legacy she bequeathed to government to spend ‘as they may think fit’. The newspaper’s front page also splashes on the story (right).

This follows the story we reported here yesterday of Miss Joan Edwards, who had apparently bequeathed £520k to the two Coalition partners as the current governing parties. This was divided 80:20 between them, with the Lib Dems getting almost £100k.

The Mail disputes that interpretation, asserting instead that she intended to leave the money as a bequest to the nation. They say the will’s wording was not (as claimed in newspaper reports yesterday) for the money to be passed “to whoever was the party of government of the day” but that it should be passed to “whichever Government is in office at the date of my death”. On that basis, the paper accuses the Conservatives and Lib Dems of deception bordering on fraud.

My Twitter timeline today suggests two things. First, everyone believes the Daily Mail when it suits them. Secondly, that there are a surprising number of people who think they’re experts on legacy bequests.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 48 Comments

Ms Joan LB Edwards: the mystery donor who bequeathed £99,423 to the Lib Dems – our 20% share as “the party of government of the day”

Chris Harlow and James Waterson at City A.M. has the bizarre story:

Eyebrows were raised this morning when it was revealed that the top individual donor to political parties in the second quarter of the year was one “Ms Joan L B Edwards” who gave the Conservatives £420,576 and the Lib Dems £99,423.

Ms Edwards has not shown any particular interest in politics in the past so onlookers immediately wondered whether she was spurred into action by the coalition’s success.

But City A.M. can reveal that it is actually the result of a bizarre bequest. Ms Edwards recently died and a mole

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

Lib Dem publish latest accounts, shows £410k deficit and party membership down to 42,500

The latest set of accounts for the Lib Dems have been published – I’ve uploaded it at the foot of this post. Here are 5 points that struck me I read through the document.

1) The party ended 2012 with a £410k deficit

The party recorded a £410k deficit, with £6m income and £6.4m expenditure. This is noted as a “disappointing result” and ascribed to the late receipt of a substantial legacy donation “which would have brought the result down to something much nearer to break-even”. Yet legacies are by their very nature unpredictable: it’s not something we can rely on this year. Ideally the party needs to break even on its regular incomings/outgoings and then be able to use windfalls for investment.

2) Membership falls again: it’s now 42,501, down 34% since 2010

“As at December 2012 there were 42,501 members of the Party.” This is a further 13% drop since last year, and a massive 35% drop since the heights of Cleggmania in 2010. What’s clear from the chart, though, is that this is in reality a continuation of a decline in membership evident over the past 15 years, which I explored here last year:

lib dem membership figs since 1988

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 41 Comments

Lib Dem donor Brompton Capital given all clear by the Electoral Commission

rumi verjeeA month ago, the Sunday Telegraph splashed on allegations by Labour MP Michael Dugher demanding the Electoral Commission investigate donations to the Lib Dems from Rumi Verjee via Brompton Capital Limited.

Well, the Electoral Commission has now investigated — and it’s given the donations the all-clear, and ruled out pursuing the matter any further:

“We have carefully considered whether there is sufficient reason to believe that a breach of PPERA may have taken place, and whether the matter warrants referral for a case review or investigation. Having

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

BBC: ‘Political parties’ donations fall by almost £1m’

Here’s the BBC News report:

Donations to political parties fell by almost £1m during the second quarter of this year, official figures show. The Electoral Commission said £7,873,478 in funding had been reported – down £992,312 on the first three months of the year. The Conservatives received £3,785,579, Labour £2,964,471 and the Liberal Democrats £717,797.

The Lib Dem figure of £718k is the party’s lowest second quarter fundraising performance since 2006 (when it was less than half this year’s total, at £334k). This graph from the Electoral Commission which compiles the figures shows the disparity between the parties’ financial muscle, …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Lib Dem donation figures in full (Quarter 1, 2012)

The Electoral Commission has recently published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised £606,724 between January and March this year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of donations (excluding public funds) received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004. I’ve uploaded a public Google spreadsheet of all Lib Dem donations between 2001 and 2011 available here; and a separate one for the first quarter of 2012 available here.)

By comparison, the party raised £698,875 in the first quarter of 2007 (the equivalent …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

10 things you might not have known about party political funding over the last decade

The Electoral Commission website is a data-mine of information for those interested in all aspects of party political funding.

For those who’d rather not get their hands dirty doing the mining themselves, below you’ll find 10 interesting (in my opinion) facts I discovered there.

But for those of you interested in excavating further, I’ve uploaded Google spreadsheets of the three main parties’ donations received between 2001 and 2011 (incl.):

And here are those 10 interesting facts I promised you…

1) In total, the Lib Dems raised £33,742,984 in donations from 2001-11. This compares with £173,742,956 for the Labour Party, and £182,418,146 for the Conservatives.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 15 Comments

Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q4, 2011)

The Electoral Commission has this past week published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised £1,076,469 between October and December this year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of donations (excluding public funds) received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.)

By comparison, the party raised £1,724,842 in the fourth quarter of 2006 (the equivalent stage of the parliamentary cycle). This is the first time since I’ve been covering the Lib Dem donation figures I can recall the figure for donations received being lower …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Michael Brown arrested in Dominican Republic

The Guardian reports:

The Liberal Democrats’ biggest donor, who has been on the run for three years after being convicted of a multimillion pound theft, has been arrested by police in the Dominican Republic, the Guardian can disclose…

A City of London police spokesman confirmed Brown’s arrest. “We are pleased to hear that Michael Brown has been detained by authorities in the Dominican Republic, and are currently establishing contact with them to find out further details about his arrest.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q3, 2011)

The Electoral Commission has this past week published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised £1,199,623 between July and September this year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of donations (excluding public funds) received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.)

By comparison, the party raised £571,715 in the third quarter of 2006 (the equivalent stage of the parliamentary cycle), suggesting a far more sustainable level of fundraising success is now being achieved; although the party has been hit very hard since its move …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

A quiet revolution in political party finance

As the Financial Times reported earlier this week (expanding on a point Stephen has made previously):

The party said it had raised more than Labour from individual and corporate donors in five out of the past six quarters. In the second quarter of this year the party attracted £850,000 against £300,000 for Labour, which is now majority financed by money from the big unions.

As far as I’m aware, this is the first time the Liberal Democrats have been raising more money from non-trade union sources than the Labour Party, which is a major change from the previous well-established and …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Michael Brown and the Lib Dems: the bits the Telegraph missed out

Today’s Telegraph splashes with the story, Revealed: secret new life of fugitive Lib Dem donor, devoting its first three pages to the tale of Michael Brown’s new life on the run in a Caribbean hideout.

Michael Brown, as our readers will not need reminding, donated £2.4m to the party just before the 2005 general election. His subsequent arrest and conviction on several counts of fraud have been an embarrassment to the Lib Dems ever since.

The Telegraph’s story is, shock horror, a little partial, though. Take this paragraph: ‘The Liberal Democrats have steadfastly resisted all attempts to force them to repay …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 39 Comments

Lib Dems outperform Labour on private donations, notes the FT

Good to see a bit of media recognition today which overtly acknowledges our now consistent out-performing of Labour on private fundraising efforts. The Financial Times reports:

Private and company donations to Labour have plummeted to a 10th of their pre-election average in the first six months of Ed Miliband’s leadership, according to research by the Financial Times.

Many former donors have turned their backs on the opposition party, leaving it increasingly reliant on unions, which provide the bulk of its private income.

Labour’s corporate and individual donations of £248,577 for the half-year to March were dwarfed even by those to the Liberal

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q2, 2010)

The Electoral Commission has today published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised just over £2.05 million in the second three months of this year, and almost £4 million in total in the frst half of the year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of cash and non-cash donations received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.)

By comparison, the party raised £4.4m in the first half of 2005 (leading up to that year’s general election) – but that did of course include

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

How the central finances of parties have been panning out

The following three graphs are from the Electoral Commission and show income and expenditure for the three main political parties as reflected in their annual accounts. There are some important exceptions to what they show, such as the money brought in and spent directly by election candidates, though from what I know of these exceptions they paint a similar picture to those annual accounts of the relative trends over time.

As Stephen has often noted on this site when reporting on the quarterly donation figures, the Liberal Democrat figures show a consistently higher level of income in this Parliament than …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments

Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q1, 2010). Make today the day you donate.

The Electoral Commission has today published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised just over £1.9 million in the first three months of this year. Below is the full breakdown of cash and non-cash donations received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.

By comparison, the party raised £3.7m in the first quarter of 2005 (leading up to that year’s general election) – but that did of course include that £2.4m donation from Michael Brown. If we exclude that one-off donation, which had to be spent immediately under the terms of the gift agreement, the Lib Dems have raised considerably more this time around.

Our figures are of course dwarfed by the Tories and Labour fundraising among their friends in big business and the trade unions. Labour has raised £3.6m during this election campaign alone, the Tories a further £4.43m. The Lib Dems: £200k. And yet our party is level-pegging with Labour in the polls, and just a notch or two behind the Tories. You want to know which party genuinely understands the concept of value-for-money? Go figure.

Posted in General Election and News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Those Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q4, 2009)

The Electoral Commission has published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties this week, and its website allow us to gain a picture of the Lib Dems’ fundraising efforts over the years. Below is the full breakdown of cash and non-cash donations received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.

Five/six-figure gifts coming from the following: Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (£222.5k), Christopher Nicholson (£52.2k), Michael Brehme (£50k), Charles Brand (£25k), Brian Roper (£20k), Neil Sherlock (£20k), Susan Kramer (£15k), Richard Duncalf (£11.7k), Christopher Butler (£10.7k), Giles Wilkes (£10.25k), Richard Brindle (£10k), Stephen Dawson (£10k).

25 Parliamentarians contributed this quarter – those who gave £1k+ I spot-checked were:

Posted in News | 12 Comments

Those Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q3, 2009)

The Electoral Commission has published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties this week, and its website allow us to gain a picture of the Lib Dems’ fundraising efforts over the years. Below is the full breakdown of cash and non-cash donations received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.

Lots of familiar names on the 2009 Q3 list, with five/six-figure gifts coming from the following: Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (£231k), Bloomberg Tradebook Europe Limited (£25k), Mr Christopher Nicholson (£21.5k), Professor John Howson (£10k), Mrs Joan Ramsden (£10k), and Philip Young (£10k).

Fewer Parliamentarians than normal contributed this quarter – the most generous I spot-checked were:

Posted in News | 8 Comments

+++ OFFICIAL: Lib Dems cleared by Electoral Commission over Michael Brown’s £2.4m donation

Here’s the full statement just released by the Electoral Commission:

Donations by 5th Avenue Partners Limited to the Liberal Democrats: statement

20 Nov 2009

The Electoral Commission, the independent elections and party finance watchdog, today announced the outcome of its investigation into donations made by the company 5th Avenue Partners Ltd to the Liberal Democrats. Donations totalling over £2.4m were made in 2005.

The investigation considered whether there had been breaches of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA). In particular, it looked at whether the company, reported as the donor, was a permissible donor. It also considered whether the company

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 34 Comments

Those Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q2, 2009)

The Electoral Commission has published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties today, and its website allow us to gain a picture of the Lib Dems’ fundraising efforts over the years. Below is the full breakdown of cash and non-cash donations received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.

Lots of familiar names on the 2009 Q1 list, with five/six-figure gifts coming from: Lord Alliance (£250k), Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (£205k), Anthony Wilkinson (£105k), C& C Business Solutions (£50k), George Lyon (£15.5k), Christopher Nicholson (£15k), and Andrew Haisley (£10k). Incidentally, as I understand it, Lord Alliance’s gift is the conversion of a loan to a donation, which represents a big boost to the party’s balance sheet – which is no bad thing, given the party’s deficit in 2008.

The most generous Parliamentarians I spot-checked were:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Lib Dems’ £550k deficit, 8.5% membership drop, and other facts from the party’s annual accounts

The Electoral Commission has just published online the latest sets of financial accounts for the main parties, including the Liberal Democrats, for the year end 31 December 2008. You can read the party’s statement of accounts HERE. For those who don’t want to wade through its 28 pages, though, here are a few of the sexier snippets:

  1. The Liberal Democrats had, by some way, the largest pre-tax deficit of any of the 11 political parties whose income and expenditure figures are published – the party’s income was £5.47 million against expenditure of £6.01m, a pre-tax deficit of £540,700. The report notes, ‘As a general election must be held within the next 12 months, it is vital to build the Party’s fund raising capacity’.
  2. Donations in 2008 accounted for £1.5m of income, against £1.9m in 2007. Income from membership and subscriptions was up very slightly at £808k. Net conference income was up significantly: £558k in 2008, compared with 415k in 2007.
  3. The bulk of the party’s expenditure falls in three main areas: staff costs (£1.75m), campaigning (£1.6m) and premises and office costs (£0.68m).
Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 59 Comments

Those Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q1, 2009)

The Electoral Commission has published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties this week, and LDV’s own Mark Pack has already blogged his success in getting the Commission to report the figures accurately.

The Commission’s website does allow us, though, to gain a picture of the Lib Dems’ fundraising efforts over the years. Below is the full breakdown of cash and non-cash donations received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.

Overall, the figures show that the party’s efforts have stepped up a level during this time. Since 2004 – and most notably in 2005, with that Michael Brown donation – the party’s annual donations have never dipped below £2m. The first quarter’s figures for 2009 suggest this trend will continue, with some £823,751 received, almost double the equivalent figure for 2008.

Many of you may have seen advertised recently the position of Major Gift Fundraiser for General Election for the party on a one-year £40,000 contract, suggesting again that the party is starting to take its fundraising seriously, and not simply relying on membership mail-shots.

Lots of familar names on the 2009 Q1 list, with five/six-figure gifts coming from: Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (£205,000), Paul Strasburger (£100,000), Lord Alliance (£50,000), Bryan Roper (£50,000), Margaret Roper (£50,000), Peter Bennett-Jones (£25,000), Charles Brand (£20,000), Kenneth J Douglas (£12,500), Ministry of Sound Ltd (£10,000) and David Evans (£10,000).

The most generous Parliamentarians I spot-checked were: Vince Cable (£11,700), and Chris Davies (two gifts of £5,000), with Susan Kramer and Andrew Duff also contributing £5,000 each.

Here are the full figures:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Reform of political donations: within the gift of the Lib Dems?

Yesterday’s Observer reported that one of the Lib Dems’ bigger donors, Sudhir Choudhrie, faces allegations of “accepting tens of millions of pounds in kickbacks from an arms deal between an Israeli company and the Indian government”:

Sudhir Choudhrie, who has personally donated £95,000 to the party and whose relatives’ companies have donated a further £475,000, was named as a key arms broker in foreign reports. … This is the second time that Choudhrie, 59, has been accused of being paid an illegal commission from a major arms deal in India. The allegations are said to be politically motivated, and to

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

Those Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q4, 2008)

The Electoral Commission has published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties this week, and LDV’s own Mark Pack has already blogged his success in getting the Commission to report the figures accurately.

The Commission’s website does allow us, though, to gain a picture of the Lib Dems’ fundraising efforts over the years. Below is the full breakdown of cash and non-cash donations received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.

Overall, the figures suggest that the party’s efforts have stepped up a level during this time. For instance, rather astonishingly, in 2001 – the year of a general election – the party raised less than half the total it achieved in 2006, our annus horribilis.

But, since 2004 – and most notably in 2005, with that Michael Brown donation – the party’s annual donations have never dipped below £2m. 2008 has again seen the party continuing that relatively impressive track record, albeit the figure is lower than 2007 (the year of the-election-that-never-was).

Lots of familar names on the list, including several MPs, and – interestingly – Lord Jacobs, who you may recall quit the party back in December; but who contributed £15,000 to Lib Dem coffers six weeks earlier. Other five/six-figure gifts came from: C & C Business Solutions Ltd (£40,000), Peter Thurnham (£10,000 bequest), Brian Roper (£15,000), Betterworld Limited (£25,000), Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (£250,000), Christopher Nicholson (£20,000), Raymond Cecil Mitchell (£10,000 bequest), Opal-Chant Ltd (£10,000), and Mr W M M Rayner (£10,000). The most generous MP I spot-checked was Alan Reid, MP for Argyll & Bute, who gave £6,948.84.

Here are the full figures:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Hann 28th Aug - 1:53pm
    Once again many thanks for the comments. My personal view is that the "protectionist" argument confuses the free market in goods and services which almost...
  • User AvatarCharlie 28th Aug - 1:45pm
    I would suggest that there many reasons why people support UKIP , many of which are cultural not just economic. The days when Labour and...
  • User AvatarJulian Tisi 28th Aug - 1:45pm
    Tory defectors is probably the best chance UKIP have of electing MPs. One of the many unfair aspects of our electoral system is that electors...
  • User Avatartpfkar 28th Aug - 1:44pm
    On the one hand I'm a great admirer of Carswell, he's thoughtful and makes me think even when I don't agree with him. He's also...
  • User AvatarPsi 28th Aug - 1:36pm
    Jackie Paper “Our media (local and national) seems to have moved away from the idea of a, ‘newspaper of record,’ that’s not helped. Certainly in...
  • User AvatarDavid Blake 28th Aug - 1:29pm
    Martin - if the Lib Dems don't fight it will be a sign of knowing that we will do badly.