Labour raised £4.4m to Tories’ £290,000 in second week of campaign

labour raised £4.4m to tories’ £290,000 in second week of campaign

Rishi Sunak during the launch of the Welsh Conservatives’ election manifesto in Rhyl on Friday. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives struggled to raise money in the second week of the election campaign, bringing in just £290,000 from private donors, while Labour received a windfall of £4.4m.

The figures show that business donors are turning towards Labour as it edges closer to power, while financial support for Sunak’s party is waning.

Over the first two weeks the Tories have raised less than £900,000, compared with the almost £9m they brought in during the first two weeks of the 2019 campaign under Boris Johnson.

In contrast, Labour has been given £5.3m in the first two weeks, hugely boosted by £2.5m from David Sainsbury, the supermarket scion.

Over the year to the end of April, the Tories have significantly outgunned Labour, bringing in £44m while Labour drew £24.6m, excluding public funds.

However, the Conservatives’ power to persuade donors to hand over cash appears to have diminished after Sunak called the election while hugely behind in the polls.

The party received 10 donations during the first week of June, the largest of which was worth £50,000 from Bestway, ultimately owned by the Tory peer Zameer Choudrey.

The Tories even trailed Nigel Farage’s Reform UK, which took in just under £750,000 shortly after Farage announced he would run as a candidate in Clacton.

This included £500,000 from Britain Means Business, owned by Reform’s former leader Richard Tice, who is standing in Boston and Skegness. Holly Valance, the former Neighbours TV star and singer who is married to the property developer Nick Candy, formerly a Tory donor, gave £50,000.

Labour received £900,000 from the former Belron CEO Gary Lubner and £700,000 from Martin Taylor, a hedge fund boss.

The Liberal Democrats received £335,000 in the second week of the campaign, taking their total for the election to £789,999. This included another £150,000 from the businessman Safwan Adam and a £100,000 bequest from John Faulkner, a longstanding party member who left the party £1m in his will in 2023.

Despite low enthusiasm from donors, the Tories pressed ahead with a fundraiser at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in west London on Thursday evening. Conservative supporters bid thousands on dinners with cabinet ministers including David Cameron, tickets to Magic Mike Live and a private dance lesson with a Strictly professional.

One attender described the atmosphere at the event as akin to the “last days of Rome”. Among the speakers were James Cleverly, the home secretary, and his wife, Susie; Richard Holden, the Tory chair; and Dominic Johnson, the investment minister. Sunak did not attend but sent a video message.

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