“The Conservatives received a huge boost in donations in the three months before Theresa May called a surprise general election, according to figures published by the Electoral Commission.
The party received £5.46m from January to March this year, more than twice the £2.65m given to Labour.
By the time the prime minister called the election on 18 April, the Tories had received £1.85m more in donations during the first quarter of the year than it had in the last three months of 2016.
The biggest individual donation came from the Conservative party treasurer, Michael Davis, who gave the party £317,000. The South African-born former mining executive is overseeing the party’s fundraising efforts, which have targeted wealthy businesspeople and city figures.
Last week, it emerged that the Conservatives had raised £1.5m more than Labour in the first week of the general election campaign, receiving more than £4.1m while Labour raised just over £2.7m.
The Conservatives are expected to get close to the £19m maximum they are permitted to spend during an election campaign. Labour is expecting to spend less than the Tories, amid a drive for donations from its 500,000 members. …
Other major donations to the Conservatives include £55,000 from the Rigby Group, which owns exclusive hotels including Bovey Castle in Devon, where the Olympic diver Tom Daley recently celebrated his wedding.
A company called Anglesource, run by the billionaire Arora brothers, also gave £50,000.
A property firm owned by a Palestinian-born businessman has given £65,000 to the Conservatives this year. CC Property UK is owned by Said Khoury, a billionaire who also owns CCC, the largest construction firm in the Middle East.
Other major donations came from Leopold Noe, the property developer, who gave the Conservatives £130,000. The hedge-fund manager John Armitage gave £125,000.
JS Bloor (Services), linked to the property tycoon John Bloor, gave £120,000. JS Bloor and Armitage also made donations in the first week of the election campaign, which are subject to different reporting rules.
According to the Electoral Commission, the Tory party also has a credit facility of £5,554,000, while Labour has access to borrowing £113,000.”
Labour received £1.96m from trade unions, including £657,702 from Unite. Public funds are also listed for each party, which predominantly boost the totals for opposition parties. …”