Details of the Conservative Party's financial contribution to its pact with the Ulster Unionists have been made public.
The 2009 accounts of the Tories’ Northern Ireland wing have been released, showing a 625% increase in expenditure from the previous year.
This was partly attributed to its involvement with the Ulster Unionists in last year's European Election campaign.
Donations to the local Tory organisation jumped from £35,451 in 2008 to £204,954 last year.
And its accounts state that campaign expenditure in 2009 came to £147,686.
The European election last June saw Mr Nicholson returned as the second MEP, elected at the third stage, just ahead of the DUP’s Diane Dodds. While the result was trumpeted by the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists at the time, the alliance achieved no Westminster seats at the General Election.