Bureau Recommends: Tories oppose £10k donation cap

The Bureau recommends a report by the Guardian on a leaked Tory memo revealing that the party will oppose a £10,000 cap on political donations.

Other recommendations include permitting married couples to each donate the maximum amount, and enforcing more control over UK companies being used as vehicles via which foreigners donate to political parties.

The funding cap is one of a number of recommendations in a report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which is examining how to prevent big money influencing British politics.

The report is also understood to be opposed by the Labour party, which objects to plans to change its relationship with trade unions.

Last month, the Bureau published a report on the City’s influence over the Tory party. We found 50 donors from the financial sector who gave the party £50,000 or more – five times the proposed cap – over a 12-month period. Three individuals associated with hedge funds, Michael Farmer, Lord Stanley Fink and Andrew Law, contributed a combined total of £636,000.

According to Electoral Commission data, 27% of Tory money came from sources associated with hedge funds, financiers and private equity firms. The financial services sector as a whole provided 51.4% of the party’s funding.

The Bureau can also reveal that since the coalition government was formed in April 2010, the Tory party has received 292 separate donations of more than £10,000.

At the time, the party declined to comment on whether the interests of financial donors received more attention than those of others.

Our investigation also found the Labour party to be more dependant on its relationship with trade unions than at any time in the past decade, despite Ed Miliband’s promises to loosen union influence over his party. Unions provided 91.3% of the party’s funding in the 2010 financial year; less than 60% of cash had come from union sources in the previous financial year.

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