Tag Archives: lord jacobs

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

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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:

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