Politics and political donations

Gary Neal
The Silent Politician
3 min readJun 14, 2024

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Support for democracy or political leverage?

A bank note being put in a voting box
ID 97800166 copyright David Carillet Dreamstime.com

Political parties need money to fund their activities. Most of the UK political income comes from membership fees, donations from individuals, and trade bodies. However, in the interests of transparency, any donations over £500 ($635) must be reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Any over £11,180 ($14,200) must be reported to the Electoral Commission.

Personal donations to MPs are different to political party donations. MPs have to declare their interests on a public register, which can be searched.

Cash & gifts are donated because:-

1. The organization or individual admires that particular party and wants them to improve their position

2. They could be members of that particular party

3. They may be politically aligned with the party concerned, like the trade unions alignment with the Labour Party.

4. The more cynical members of the public will also list influence, companies in particular, donate to parties to try and curry favor for policies supporting their particular industry.

In 2023 political parties accepted £93m ($118m) in donations. Last quarter alone, the Conservatives raised £9.8m ($12.4m) and Labour £6m ($8)

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Gary Neal
The Silent Politician

Retired taxi driver, creative writer, experimental poet, computer enthusiast, web design and learning to program