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Revealed: DUP tops table of political donations receiving over £98,000

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Over the first quarter of this year the DUP received £98,925 in donations (Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker).

Over the first quarter of this year the DUP received £98,925 in donations (Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker).

Over the first quarter of this year the DUP received £98,925 in donations (Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker).

The DUP has topped the table for political donations in Northern Ireland, according to the latest figures from the Electoral Commission.

Figures from January to March of this year show that political parties here accepted £359,646 in donations over this period.

Under Electoral Commission rules, there is no limit on the donations a party here can accept, but donations over £7,500 — or smaller donations from the same donor that add together to exceed that limit — have to be reported.

Over the first quarter of this year, the DUP received £98,925 in donations, however this was entirely made up of public funds. Sinn Fein also received solely public funds totalling £80,531.

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Sinn Fein received £80,531 in donations in the first quarter of the year.

Sinn Fein received £80,531 in donations in the first quarter of the year.

Sinn Fein received £80,531 in donations in the first quarter of the year.

Sinn Fein was followed by the Alliance Party, who received £58,622 in donations. This was comprised of £40,000 in private donations and £18,622 in public funds.

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The Alliance Party received £58,622 in donations in the first quarter of the year.

The Alliance Party received £58,622 in donations in the first quarter of the year.

The Alliance Party received £58,622 in donations in the first quarter of the year.

Elsewhere, the SDLP received £58,430 in public funds and the TUV received £30,000 in private donations. The UUP brought in £2,000 in private donations and £23,603 in public funds, making a total of £25,603.

Finally, the Conservative and Unionist Party received £7,534 in public funds.

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The SDLP received £58,430 in public funds in the first quarter of the year.

The SDLP received £58,430 in public funds in the first quarter of the year.

The SDLP received £58,430 in public funds in the first quarter of the year.

Cahir Hughes, head of the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland, said: “Political parties received over £350,000 in the first three months of this year. Parties are legally required to check that donations they accept are from permissible sources, and report these to the Commission.

“We publish donation details online to provide voters with transparency over the political finance process, and so that everyone can see how parties are funded.”

Legislation introduced back in 2018 permitted the Electoral Commission to publish donation information reported by parties here from July 2017 onwards.

The commission has repeatedly called on the government to bring forward legislation to allow it to publish information from July 2014, however this has not happened.

Concerns were previously raised over a donation over more than £2m made to Sinn Fein by mysterious donor William Hampton in 2019.

In the Republic, strict donation laws mean parties there cannot receive donations of more than €2,500. This led to fears that some of the money from Mr Hampton — who left the money in his will when he died in 2018 — could be used to fund party activities south of the border.


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