These figures will set off alarm bells for those who claim there’s a Deep State at work
It’s no secret that British political parties, politicians and campaigning groups receive substantial donations all year round.
But you might be shocked to hear the sheer scale of the transactions, which have totalled more than half a billion pounds over the past decade.
A Mirror investigation into data published by the Electoral Commission reveals the exact figure to be an eye-watering £536m.
So where is that money coming from, you might ask.
The figures reveal businesses, foreign governments, trade unions and other organisations all make sizeable donations. However, the vast majority come from individuals – a worrying fact for those who believe these individuals have one goal: to influence British democracy.
It’s a prime example of what conspiracy theorist will point to as an example of the Deep State in action – the idea that powerful and rich individuals are secretly controlling our governments from the shadows.
The latest available data shows British MPs, political parties and campaigners have accepted almost 30,000 different donations between 2010 and 2018.
And of that total, almost half – £237m – have come from wealthy individuals.
Businesses and trade unions have donated roughly equal amounts at £94m and £90m respectively, with 35 different donations of £1m or greater since 2010 from all sources.
Some £73m came from public funds – such as ‘Short money’ given to opposition parties in the House of Commons and Policy Development Grants – which are given to parties to help them formulate policy.
Other donations were actually paid-for visits for MPs, often put on by foreign governments.
At least £30m of donations were accepted during the EU referendum campaign on both the Leave and the Remain sides.
MPs and organisations accepted a total of £33m in April 2015, the highest of any single month this decade.