Political news

Sinn Féin receives most donations among north's parties

Sinn Féin had an income of £125,535 in the last three-quarters of 2018

SINN Féin's income was the largest of the north's parties in the final three months of last year, according to latest figures from the Electoral Commission.

The party received a total of £125,535 – more than £80,000 of which came from the public purse, coupled with £45,500 from private donors, including sums from its elected representatives.

The commission also revealed that Sinn Féin reported a new credit facility of £300,000.

As the north's largest party, the DUP received the highest public donation of almost £113,500, which represented its entire income in the final quarter of 2018.

The Ulster Unionist Party received £23,237 over the same three-month period, all of which was also derived from public funds, while the SDLP drew down £19,360 from the same source.

Read More: Anti-Brexit unionist party that never contested an election tops donations table

The Alliance Party received £7,500 from the Joseph Rowntree Trust and £18,104 in public donations.

The regional arm of the Conservative Party received no public funds but £7,920 from its parent party in Britain.

People for Profit MLA Gerry Carrol gave £4,000 of his earnings back to the party, the income of which was augmented by £6,723 of public income.

The Greens and TUV received £11,655 and £6,831 respectively from the public purse.

Read More: Parties get £450,000 in funding and donations over three months

One party – the Veterans and People’s Party - failed to meet the deadline for reporting donations and loans, a matter which the commission is considering under enforcement policy.

Party donations have only been made public in Northern Ireland since a change in the law last year.

Regional Electoral Commission head Ann Watt said: "The political party donations and loans data that we have published allows voters to clearly see how parties in Northern Ireland are funded.

"This transparency helps to enhance public confidence and trust in our democratic process."

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