Labour Debts At £10m, Conservatives Getting Donations From Oil Magnates

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The Labour party remains £10m in debt and is almost entirely dependent on unions for funding, official figures revealed on Wednesday.

The electoral comission's statistics for donations to political parties in the second quarter of this year show that while personal donations have increased, 85 per cent of Labour donations since Ed Miliband became leader were from unions.

The Conservatives are the biggest fundraisers, raking in over £2m in individual donations. The party's second biggest cash donation was £100,000 from oil magnate Alexander Knaster, ranked 938 in financial magazine Forbes’ list of billionaires.

A Labour party spokesperson defended the party’s funding structure, saying: “Trade union donations are the most regulated and transparent of any type of political donation. Millions of hard working people from all areas of the country choose to support the Labour Party through their trade union membership and we are very grateful for their support."

But the Conservatives pointed out Labour’s donations had fallen by 16% when compared to how much they raised during the same period in 2006.

Conservative Party Co-Chairman Sayeeda Warsi said: “They swung Ed Miliband’s election as leader and it’s now clear that Labour is completely reliant on the unions to keep the party afloat. With this collapse in individual support it’s no wonder Ed Miliband can’t stand up to the unions.”

Overall the Conservatives received £4,201,560 in donations between April-June 2011, Labour £3,222,954 and the Liberal Democrats £972,344 – a rise of £162,315 since the last quarter.

The Lib Dem’s biggest individual donor, Peter Dunphy, gave the party £25,000 in May 2011 and has previously made personal donations to the party’s leader Nick Clegg.

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