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Spending by political parties passes £100m mark

Political parties spent more than £100 million in 2014, new Electoral Commission figures have shown.

The Conservatives and Labour led the way in the build-up to May's general election, declaring £36.9 million and £35.3 million in expenditure during 2014.

There were 13 political parties which crossed the £250,000 declaration threshold during 2014 - including the Liberal Democrats, who spent £8.8 million, the SNP, who spent £7.2 million, and Ukip, who spent £6.7 million.

Across all parties, some £107.5 million was received in income against £101.3 million in spending.

The Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats recorded surpluses in 2014 while the SNP and Ukip spent more than they earned.

Labour received the most income, at £39.5 million, with the Conservatives bringing in £37.4 million. The Liberal Democrats declared income of £10.3 million, the SNP £7 million and Ukip £6.6 million.

Two parties were granted an extension to the original July 7 deadline. The Scottish Green Party handed in its accounts on the agreed July 31 deadline.

The British National Party (BNP) missed a second deadline of August 7 and is to be investigated by the commission.

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