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22 February 2012

Chart of the day: political donations

Which party received more than £150,000 from the Ministry of Sound?

By George Eaton

Who’s winning the donations race? Political donations for the final quarter of 2011 were published today and the chart below shows how the parties fared.

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But where’s the money coming from? The ten biggest donors are listed below, with the notable inclusion of the Ministry of Sound, which donated £153,267 to the Liberal Democrats. The club’s owner, James Palumbo, is a regular donor and a long-standing friend of deputy leader Simon Hughes. As he told the NS in September 2011:

I’m helping the Lib Dems. I’ve known Simon Hughes for years – he is our local MP in Southwark, a great guy. There are various ways I can be helpful, in terms of systems, particularly marketing, which we’re very strong on, and IT and HR. I’m doing a bit of work for them and seeing how that goes. But it’s new to me. It’s a different language. It’s a different set of rules.

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Meanwhile, Labour’s dependence on the unions continues. The latter were responsible for 76 per cent (£1.8m) of all donations in the last quarter, with the GMB (£649,092) and UNISON (£427,774) the biggest contributers.

The ten biggest donors

1.GMB £649,092 Labour Party
2 National Conservative Draws Society £600,000 Conservative Party
3 UNISON £427,774 Labour Party
4 Methuen Liberal Trust Fund £329,352 Liberal Democrats
5 Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers £304,588 Labour Party
6 Communication Workers Union £194,210 Labour Party
7 Ministry of Sound Ltd £153,267 Liberal Democrats
8 Mark J C Bamford £150,500 Conservative Party
9 Lycamobile UK Ltd £136,180 Conservative Party
10 Peter A Cruddas £125,452 Conservative Party