City banker made a peer by PM had given £300,000 to Tories two months earlier

Sir Michael Farmer was the party's third biggest donor over the past four months

A Tory donor ennobled by David Cameron last week had handed over £300,000 to the party just two months before, it has emerged.

Figures released by the Electoral Commission reveal that the city financier Michael Farmer was the Tories’ third biggest donor between April and June. In total Sir Michael has given the Conservatives more than £6m.

Details of donations made the main parties show that in the second quarter of 2014 the Tories moved further ahead of Labour in the fundraising stakes, raking in £7.18m. More than a third of that came from just 10 donors.

Labour continued to rely heavily on union backing, receiving £1.31m from the unions in the second quarter of the year from total declarable donations of £3.76m.

But there was good news for the party in Pendle – a constituency high on Labour’s target list in 2015. The local party accepted nearly £250,000 through the will of an elderly resident who died last year.

For the first time Ukip got more private funding than the Liberal Democrats thanks mainly to a £1m donation from a company controlled by Paul Sykes, who helped bankroll Ukip’s successful European election campaign. Donations for the period came to £1.4m, putting the party ahead of the Liberal Democrats (£1.23m) and the Scottish National Party (£1.14m).

The figures showed that one of the biggest individual donations was the £629,570 given to Labour by the property magnate Sir David Garrard. The Tories’ two largest donations were each of £500,000 – both from people who had not previously given large sums to the party.

Labour said the figures showed another £2m had been raised by the Tories from donors who attended private dinners with David Cameron and other senior ministers – taking the party’s total to £5m this year.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “When millions are flowing in from hedge funds and exclusive groups of donors, is it any wonder David Cameron stands up for the privileged few?

“Millionaires and hedge funds have been given a tax cut while hardworking families suffer from a cost-of-living crisis. David Cameron is leading an out-of-touch, hollowed-out party which has no answers to the major challenges our country faces.”

Referring to Labour’s union donations since Ed Miliband became leader, Grant Shapps, the Tory party chairman, said: “The figures are jaw-dropping… Union bosses like Len McCluskey have siphoned off £34m from members’ pay packets, and funnelled it into Labour’s election war chest.

“And we all know what payback they want from weak Ed Miliband: more wasteful spending, more taxes, and more debt than our children could ever hope to repay.”

But the Tories’ fundraising may not be as rosy as the figures suggest. One of their biggest donors, who has contributed more than £1.5m since 2013, was James Lupton. He is also in charge of their general election fighting fund and gave only £100,000 before taking up the job, suggesting he may be having to dip into his own pocket to keep the Conservative show on the road.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor