U.K. Political Donations Hit Record in Quarter Before Election

U.K. political parties received a record 30.6 million pounds ($47 million) in the first quarter, with half of the donations going to Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party in the run-up to the May 7 election.

It is the highest amount registered for any quarter since rules requiring disclosure came into effect in 2000, the Electoral Commission said as it published the figures Thursday.

The opposition Labour Party received 9.3 million pounds, including 5.96 million pounds from labor unions, the commission said. The Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in Cameron’s coalition government before the election, registered 3 million pounds.

A proposed law regulating Britain’s labor unions announced on Wednesday may undermine Labour’s finances if union members are required to “opt in” rather than “opt out” of political campaigning funds, some of which are used to finance the party.

The Scottish National Party and the anti-immigration U.K. Independence Party each received 1 million pounds in the quarter.

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