Labour have been out-fundraised by the Liberal Democrats for the first time ever, figures released on Thursday reveal.
Jeremy Corbyn’s party recorded receiving £1,970,055 in the last quarter of 2016, while Tim Farron’s garnered over £2,000 more - standing at £1,972,904.
The Conservatives received a substantially higher amount - £3,610,983 - with Ukip being relegated behind the Green and Co-operative party with just £33,228.
The biggest donor to any party was Gregory Nasmyth, who gifted £1 million to the Lib Dems. He has previously donated substantial sums to Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
The next highest donors were three unions - Unite, the Union of Shop Distributive and Allied workers and GMB - to Labour, which historically relies on their financial support in return for political backing.
The Liberal Democrats hailed their historic success and pinned the change on Labour becoming “Theresa May’s cheerleaders” on Brexit.
Sal Brilton, Lib Dem party president, said: “These donations are because of Brexit. People want a voice that believes Britain is open, tolerant and united.
“Labour do not offer that any more, they are Theresa May’s cheerleaders.”
Earlier in the day, the Lib Dem’s leader in the House of Lords said it was “gratifying that we’re now getting funds in” but “sorry that it’s on the back of what I think is an impending national disaster”.
Party fundraising totals vs MP numbers
- Conservatives - £3,610,983 / 330
- Lib Dems - £1,972,904 / 9
- Labour - £1,970,055 / 229
- Green - £46,228 / 1
- Co-operative – 39,750 / 28
- Ukip - £33,228 / 1
- Women’s Equality Party - £30,000 / 0
- SNP - £4,165 / 54
Labour, the Lib Dems, Greens, Co-op and Ukip also received a cumulative £2.4 million in short money - funding given to opposition parties to assist with costs.
Donations overall increased by over £1.2 million from the third to the fourth quarter of 2016.
But they total around £1.5 million less compared to the same quarter (October to December) in 2015.