Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein tops party funding table as income rises

Northern Ireland's political parties received almost £200,000 more last year than in 2014, a Government-appointed watchdog said.

Sinn Fein was again the richest party, according to the Electoral Commission, raising £1.1 million and spending £1.2 million.

The DUP earned £533,682 and spent £511,766 in 2015, the year of the Westminster general election.

The UUP netted £412,805 and used £310,613, while the SDLP received £543,704 and spent £600,851.

Income for the four largest Stormont parties increased by £194,975 and expenditure rose £6,211 compared with 2014.

The money came from official grants, donations and subscriptions.

The commission repeated its recommendation that the UK Government should extend the same transparency regime on party funding to Northern Ireland as applies elsewhere in the UK as soon as possible.

Details of any large donors have to be sent to the Electoral Commission but are not made public due to security concerns.

Sinn Fein has an extensive fundraising network in North America.

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