BNP saved from collapse by £150,000 bequest from 91-year-old man

Bequest to the struggling British National Party was one of the 10 largest political donations in the last quarter of 2015

The far right British National Party was reprieved from the point of collapse by a £150,000 bequest from a  91-year-old man.

The bequest, from Dennis Radmore, from Plymouth, who died in hospital in January last year, is one the 10 largest political donations in the latest list released by the Electoral Commission, which provides details of more than £8m in gifts and donations to political parties received during the last quarter of 2015. More than £5m went to the Conservatives.

The BNP, which has been riven by internal feuds, has been struggling for funds and the bequest was a huge boost to its efforts to stay afloat. However, the party’s financial woes are not yet over – only last month it temporarily lost its status as a political party, after failing to pay the £25 registration fee. At its peak, in 2009, the anti-immigrant party had two MEPs, 50 councillors and a member of the London Assembly.

By May 2015, it has lost every seat it held apart from one council seat. A large part of the BNP’s political support is believed to have switched to UKIP, but the latest figures reveal how Nigel Farage’s party’s source of funds has shrunk since the general election. They received £196,000 in donations, compared with £2.2m in the second quarter of the same year.

The Conservatives received £5.15m in gifts, of which £2.2m came from 49 individuals and organisation from the Leaders’ Group of major donors. The biggest single donor was the financier Alexander Fraser, who gave £250,000. The Labour Party received £2.67m, of which about £2m came trade unions. including around £940,000 from the biggest union, Unite, and £353,000 from the second biggest, Unison. The Labour Party also received £1.5m from public funds, most of it from “Short money”, which pays the salaries of researchers working for the opposition.

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