POLITICS

Tories Outspend Labour By £15m

28/07/2011 12:43 | Updated 27 September 2011

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- The Conservative Party spent £15 million more than Labour last year, according to official figures.

The Tories spent £49,205,000 during 2010, including on the general election campaign, while Labour spent £33,840,000, the Electoral Commission said.

As the independent party funding watchdog published the financial accounts of the main political parties, the British National Party (BNP) and Christian Party were warned they could face substantial fines for failing to submit their accounts on time.

The figures show that the Conservative Party received income of £43,143,000, suffering an overall loss over 2010, while Labour received £36,270,000.

The Conservative Party in Northern Ireland also spent £391,359 and received £408,127.

And the Liberal Democrats spent £9,973,077 over the year, with an income of £9,637,354.

Peter Wardle, chief executive of the Electoral Commission, said: "The rules on party funding are intended to ensure that voters can see where political parties get their funding from, and how they spend it."

Mr Wardle hit out at the failure of the BNP and Christian Party to submit their accounts to the Commission.

"The majority of parties and accounting units have complied with the law by submitting their accounts on time - however, despite the guidance and advice we offer to help parties comply with the law, two parties have yet again failed to provide accounts on time," he said.

"This is not acceptable. We have commenced formal case reviews into the circumstances. If we are satisfied that the rules have been broken and the parties concerned do not have a reasonable excuse, we will use our new powers to impose sanctions in accordance with our published enforcement policy, to ensure future compliance with the law."

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