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:

2009, Q1 = £823,751
2009 (to date) = £823,751

2008, Q1 = £462,340
2008, Q2 = £691,572
2008, Q3 = £594,477
2008, Q4 = £935,856
2008 = £2,684,245

2007, Q1 = £694,835
2007, Q2 = £748,143
2007, Q3 = £731,464
2007, Q4 = £954,349
2007 = £3,128,791

2006, Q1 = £256,604
2006, Q2 = £264,092
2006, Q3 = £626,667
2006, Q4 = £1,706,500
2006 = £2,853,863

2005, Q1 = £3,723,671
2005, Q2 = £798,881
2005, Q3 = £214,622
2005, Q4 = £366,323
2005 = £5,103,497

2004 = £2,529,377

2003 = £1,444,682

2002 = £682,216

2001 = £1,140,265

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  • Mark Williams 27th May '09 - 8:52pm

    Still relying on handouts from the Lib Dem trustees at Mr Rowntree’s Social Service Trust? Remind me again, because I am sure you have done your due diligence, what “business” are they in to qualify the company (for that is what it is not an unincorporated association) as a permissible donor?

    I was once told by a former tax inspector that holding money on deposit or owning a few shares is not a “business”. I only mention it because he is now the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission.

  • Is there any reason why about 1/3rd of our donations come in the last quarter of the year?

  • Mark Williams 27th May '09 - 10:59pm

    But Mark, I am simply asking you what the facts are for JRRT or what ever your pals decide it is to be called.

    I see no evidence that the trust, which is a limited company, is either a friendly society nor a society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (although please let me know if I am wrong), and since the only category of permissible donor that seems to fit is a registered company incorporated in the UK which carries on business in the UK, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask what that “business” might be.

    I only ask because the job description for those who want to apply to be a director of the Trust does not describe any “business”, but it does list a lot of activities normally undertaken charity trustees.

    Perhaps you would be so kind as to enlighten us as to why the JRRT is a permissible donor?

  • Paul Griffiths 28th May '09 - 12:04am

    Mr Williams, it seems from what you say that you do not believe that JRRT Ltd is carrying on a business.

    Perhaps you could be so kind as to enlighten us as to why we should give a damn what you believe?

  • Mark Williams – you’ve convinced me. Remind me again how a hedge fund millionaire “earns” their money ? and why it is permissable for donors to give company money to political parties or what business companies have to be making donations to political parties?

  • Mark Williams 28th May '09 - 11:38am

    Paul Griffiths Says:
    “Mr Williams, it seems from what you say that you do not believe that JRRT Ltd is carrying on a business.

    Perhaps you could be so kind as to enlighten us as to why we should give a damn what you believe?”

    Because if JRRT is not carrying on a business then it is not a permissible donor under s54(2)(b)PPERA 2000, so unless you can classify it under another category of permissible donor (i) by law the Lib Dems are required to pay the money back and (ii) somebody in the party would be risking a criminal conviction.

  • Mark Williams 28th May '09 - 11:51am

    Mouse Says:
    “Remind me again how a hedge fund millionaire “earns” their money ?”

    They might invest some of their own money n their fund, but most of their income derives from performance fees in actively managing the investments of their clients.

    ” and why it is permissable for donors to give company money to political parties or what business companies have to be making donations to political parties?”

    see s54 PPERA 2000. The meaning of business is well understood in case law, particularly tax law, and there is a clear distinction between active management of investments, particularly on behalf of third parties and falling within the scope of financial services that might be regulated by the FSA, and the simple ownership of shares or bank deposits.

    Or perhaps you were using the word businsess in adifferent sense. It is the business of companies to fund participants in the political process, because companies are legal entities in thir own right and are subject to the laws of the land. Whilst they don’t have a vote it would be iniquitous to deny the right to any legal entity with a legitimate interest from having any influence on the political process.

    Charities have been excluded from the political process because it is generally held that charitable status is incompatible with political partiality. You might disagree with that point of view, but it is easy to see how the tax status of charities might be abused by political parties if it were not the case.

  • Paul Griffiths 28th May '09 - 7:34pm

    You answered the wrong question, Mr Williams.

    The question you answered was: “Why should the Lib Dems give a damn whether or not JRRT Ltd is carrying on a business?”

    The question you were asked was: “Why should the Lib Dems give a damn what Mark Williams believes?”

    The answer to that question is: “No reason. No reason at all.”

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