The secrecy of the Tories’ fundraising operation has been underscored by new research revealing the party’s reliance on a loophole to keep the names of its donors under wraps. With the party’s 40/40 strategy focusing resources on 80 seats to win or hold, 27 of these get a majority of their campaign cash from ‘unincorporated associations’.
The names of individuals giving a constituency party more than £1,500/year would ordinarily be declared to the Electoral Commission. But rich donors can maintain their anonymity by hiding behind an unincorporated association — allowing them to give up to £7,500 per seat, per year.
The list of 27 seats receiving a majority of donations in this way — published below exclusively by Scrapbook — includes 16 for which 100% of declarable donations have come from organisations such as the United & Cecil Club.
A donor working with fundraisers in this way could give a whopping £3 million to target seats over the five years of this parliament — without anyone outside the party knowing who they are.