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29 November 1998

Tory donations take a dive
Corporate political donations to the Conservative Party in the period since the announcement of the 1997 general election took a nose dive compared with previous election years, Labour Research's annual survey of political donations can reveal.

The survey to be published on 1 December lists 120 company donations worth a total of ?2,883,904 in the 1997-98 financial year. This compares with the 1992 election period when Labour Research traced 351 company donations totalling ?4.86 million - a net loss of 231 donors and almost ?2 million.

Labour Research's survey fills in some of the unexplained gaping holes in the recently published Conservative Party accounts.

Labour Research traced 12 donations to the Labour Party totalling ?1,248,942 in 1997-98, including ?1,052,000 from the Political Animal Lobby. Two donations worth ?137,750 were traced for the Liberal Democrats and other smaller sums to the six Northern Ireland Parties from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

The top 10 corporate donors to the Conservative party were headed by breakfast cereal group Weetabix, Lord Harris of Peckham's private company Harris Ventures and Eddie Healey's property group Stadium City.

* Weetabix ?274,000
* Harris Ventures ?224,085
* Stadium City ?150,000
* Hanson ?100,000
* P&O ?100,000
* Trailfinders ?100,000
* Wittington Investments ?100,000
* Racal Electronics ?75,000
* Vodafone ?75,000
* Robert Fleming ?75,000

Notes to editors

The survey shows donations made by companies with a financial year end later than 17 March 1997, the date the general election was announced. Full detail are published in the December 1998 issue of Labour Research. The price of a single copy is ?2.70 (?3 including postage).
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 86 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For more details contact Neal Moister on 0171 902 9818.

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