UK; Political parties accept over £250,000 in furlough cash

BBC – Political parties in the UK reported accepting over £250,000 in furlough funds between 1 April and 30 June.

As part of the government’s coronavirus response, employers were able to claim up to 80% of staff salaries.

Under the furlough scheme, the Lib Dems claimed £178,907, the Conservatives £80,163 and Labour £9,914.

The figures, published by the Electoral Commission, show that altogether political parties reported accepting £9.1m in donations and public funds.

The amount is a significant drop from the same period last year when donations reached £16m.

The Conservatives topped the list for donations (excluding public funds such as furlough money), reporting £2.3m.

Labour were the second highest on £1.8m, followed by the Liberal Democrats who reported £718,217.

The SNP reported £92,732 in donations and £458,346 in public funds. The party says it has not taken any furlough money.

In addition to furlough funds, public funds can also refer to cash given to opposition parties by the House of Commons to pay for researchers and staff.

Louise Edwards, director of regulation at the Electoral Commission said: “Publishing this data allows voters to see clearly how parties in the United Kingdom are being funded, enhancing public confidence and trust in our democratic processes.

“We welcome the fact that many parties have delivered their donation reports to us on time despite the challenging circumstances caused by Covid-19. Where parties have been unable to meet deadlines for reasons relating to the pandemic, we will continue to work with them to ensure their income remains transparent.”

By News784

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