SNP received no reportable cash donations in Q1

John Swinney

The UK Electoral Commission published data on Thursday showing the Scottish National Party received no reportable cash donations in the first quarter of 2024, while the GB Conservatives received £8.8 million, UK Labour accepted £7.4 million and UK Liberal Democrats received £2.4 million.

The SNP received “public funds” of £317,511 in the first quarter.

The Commission said: “Public funds are donations from the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Scottish Parliament and the Electoral Commission. ‘Short’ and ‘Cranborne’ grants are available to parties in opposition in the House of Commons or House of Lords respectively.”

GB Conservatives accepted total donations and public funds of £9 million in the first quarter, UK Labour accepted total donations and public funds of £9.5 million and UK Liberal Democrats accepted total donations and public funds of £2.8 million.

In total, political parties registered in the UK reported accepting £22.9 million in donations and public funds during the first quarter of 2024, according to the Electoral Commission figures.

This compares to £20.9 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation and Digital Transformation, said: “It is common to see donations to political parties grow ahead of an expected – and now scheduled – general election. They reached £22 million in the opening quarter of the year.

“These figures also reflect the new reporting thresholds, which were changed by the UK Government last year, meaning there is a higher threshold for what parties need to report to us.

“While there is no limit to the amount that parties can raise, there are spending limits in place for campaigning ahead of elections to ensure a level playing field.”

The Electoral Commission said that from January 1, 2024, the threshold for reporting donations to the Commission increased.

Following a change in law by the UK Government, parties are now required to report donations over £11,180 “and over £2,230 for accounting units.”

The Commission added: “The value of donations reported by a political party to the Commission may be different to the value of donations it actually accepted in that quarter.

“This can be due to aggregated donations, impermissible donations, and/or late reported donations.

“Five parties included donations in their quarterly report that should have been reported in previous quarters.

“The Commission will consider these matters in line with its Enforcement Policy (Opens in new window), if appropriate. Any sanctions applied will be published at a later date ….

“Parties reported entering into £156,432.51 of new loans in the first quarter of 2024. Loans with a value of £127,500 were fully paid off …

“As parties only report donations and loans over these thresholds, the figures do not include all donations and loans to political parties. Donations and loans under these thresholds are recorded in political parties’ annual accounts.”