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Tory donation delight.

THE Tories have been raking in more than twice as much in donations as Labour in the run-up to the general election, it has been revealed.

Figures released by the Electoral Commission showed David Cameron's party reported gifts of pounds 10,481,949 in the three months to the end of December.

Labour lagged a long way behind with pounds 4,962,886, while the Lib Dems received pounds 1,055,717.

The two main parties have also taken out credit facilities totalling pounds 7m as the poll approaches.

Altogether political parties reported just over pounds 17m in donations during the quarter - the third highest on record.

The details confirm that the Tories' 'war chest' for the election, which is expected to be held in April or May, will be substantially larger than Labour's.

However, the party was also singled out for criticism by the Commission for failing to declare the money it had received on time.

Donations declared by Labour included pounds 1m from Lord Sainsbury of Turville, the same amount from Sir Nigel Doughty, founder of Doughty Hanson, and nearly pounds 880,000 from super-union Unite.

Public sector union Unison gave pounds 402,414, while financier Sir Ronald Cohen donated pounds 250,000.

The Tories received pounds 738,000 from financier David Rowland and pounds 500,540 from joint party treasurer Stanley Fink, as well as pounds 500,000 from Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover. In the previous accounting period, from July to September last year, the Conservatives reported pounds 5.27m in donations, Labour pounds 3.5m and the Lib Dems pounds 816,663.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2010
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