Tories are accused of using ‘shady’ donations

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LABOUR WILL today accuse the Tories of bankrolling their election campaign with “shady money” from secretive clubs and societies.

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman will highlight how donations to the Tory party from unincorporated associations have reached more than £5.5m since 2010, with money from the groups being channelled to key target seats.

Labour analysis of Electoral Commission figures showed that donations from the organisations formed more than half the money raised in 27 of the key seats identified by the Tory party.

Ms Harman will also highlight a drop in membership income for the Tories in 14 of their 20 most marginal seats.

Unincorporated associations such as the United and Cecil Club are able to make donations without having to declare the individuals behind them.

Ms Harman said: “While the Tories can’t beat us on the number of activists campaigning on the ground in key seats – they have a steady stream of big donors willing to bankroll their campaign.

“The same people they handed a tax cut to. The people who go to David Cameron’s dinners. Hedge funds, bankers, millionaires – you can see who they are. But there’s one group of people bankrolling the Tories whose identity is completely secret.

“Since the last election, the
Tories have been given over
£5.5m by unincorporated associations – organisations who don’t declare where their money comes from.”

The Conservatives raked in £7.2m in donations in the second quarter of the year, almost double the Opposition’s total. Some £372,183 was from unincorporated associations, the Electoral Commission figures showed.

Labour’s biggest donation in the second quarter of 2014 was £683,342 from Unison. Tories have attacked the extent of union funding for Ed Miliband’s party.