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Surge in membership helped Labour rake in twice as much cash as Tories last year

Surge in membership helped Labour rake in twice as much cash as Tories last year

John Ashmore

2 min read

Labour's soaring membership helped the party rake in almost twice as much cash as the Conservatives last year, new figures have revealed.

The Electoral Commission revealed that Jeremy Corbyn’s party took in some £14.4m in membership fees alone in 2016 - a 51% increase on the previous year’s figure of £9.5m and ten times the Tory total of just £1.4m.

Overall, Labour's income was £49.8m, compared to the Conservatives' £28.3m.

Labour's outgoings were £43.3m, giving the party a healthy surplus of over £6.5m.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, spent £27.8m, meaning they recorded a much lower surplus of £547,000.

The Tories' income was also well down on the £41.9m they received in 2015, when party coffers were swelled by general election campaign donations.

Since Mr Corbyn became leader, Labour has become one of the largest mass membership parties in western Europe, with over 500,000 members.

More than 100,000 people reportedly joined the party during Jeremy Corbyn's second leadership battle last year, which saw him convincingly beat challenger Owen Smith.

A Labour spokesperson welcomed the figures, saying: “Labour is a mass membership party, proud to be funded by our members and working people. It is this broad funding base that makes us the party of ordinary working people, while our main rivals increasingly rely on a small pool of donors.”

Elsewhere, the figures revealed that the SNP were the only one of the four main Westminster parties too record a deficit in 2016. The party's income was £4.8m, but its expenditure was £6.1m.

The LIberal Democrats raised £8.5m and spent £7.7m, giving them a surplus of around £800,000.

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