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02 June 2001

Tories still get corporate millions
The Conservative Party has received a total of ?1.74 million in company donations since the last election from 62 companies.

The latest Labour Research survey of company political donations reveals that, despite the waning of corporate support for the Tories, they still receive more than any other party from this source.

The donor list is headed by two companies giving ?200,000 each. These are cereals group Weetabix and the Sunblest-to-Silver-Spoon food group Wittington Investments. The finance group Caledonia Investments has given ?155,000 in that period and two companies - property developer Castlemore Securities and travel group Trailfinders - have given ?100,000 each.

These top five donors accounted for 45% of the corporate donations traced to the Conservatives.

Meanwhile, although the Labour Party has widened its donor basis to include big business, it tends to be the individuals rather than direct from the companies they work for. Labour Research traced just 12 corporate donations to Labour totalling ?191,500.

More than half of Labour's total was accounted for by just one donation, of ?101,000, from the industrial conglomerate Caparo, headed by Labour peer Lord Paul.

The Liberal Democrats, often portrayed as poor, received more than the Labour Party in corporate donations from just one source. Since the last election they have received ?1,063,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

Notes to editors

1 The list of company donations to political parties is published in the enclosed June 2001 issue of Labour Research magazine. Each year Labour Research checks on the accounts of 2,000-3,000 public and private companies for political donations. A company must declare a donation if it produces a directors' report and makes a donation of over ?200.

2 Labour Research is published by the Labour Research Department, an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 89 years ago. More than 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3 For further information contact Neal Moister on 0207 902 9818

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