LABOUR topped the league for political donations in 2013, raking in almost £8million more than the Tories, while the UK Independence Party doubled its income.

Figures from the Electoral Commission showed how Labour received £33m, about the same as the previous year, although the party spent more than £2m less than in 2012.

John Mills, the founder of the JML shopping channels, continued to be one of its biggest donors with one non-cash donation worth £1.6m.

Loading article content

The Conservatives reported an income of £25.3m last year, with out­goings of £23.5m, while the respective figures for the Liberal Democrats were £7.3m and £6.8m and for the SNP £2m and £2.8m.

Specific accounting units within the parties showed Scottish Labour received £406,000 and spent £427,000, while the Scottish Liberal Democrats had donations of £320,000 and spent £296,000.

Meantime, Nigel Farage's Ukip in 2013 saw its income more than double compared to 2012, receiving £2.5m. In 2012 it was just over £1m.

Part of the uplift could be down to Yorkshire businessman Paul Dykes, who promised to invest heavily in the anti-EU party in the run-up to this year's European elections. Also helping Ukip's improved finances were merchandise sales, which netted it £80,000 last year.