120 times more donated to Conservatives than Labour in Waveney in election campaign
- Credit: Archant
The full amount every parliamentary candidate for Waveney was donated and spent during the general election campaign has been revealed,
Returns for the 2019 general election reveal a massive divide in donations - with Conservative MP Peter Aldous having received £11,107.78 from party members and businesses in the town, while Labour's Sonia Barker was only donated £90, more than 120 times less than Mr Aldous.
Mr Aldous was the candidate who received by far the highest amount of donations, with the next most donated to candidate being Helen Korfanty of the Liberal Democrats, who was given £6,500.
David Finnigan, Waveney Labour's agent for Sonia Barker, blamed the failing high street, Brexit, and UKIP supporters turning Tory for Labour's lack of donations.
"Obviously the Tories will always get a large amount of money from wealthy donors," he said.
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"Given the fact there's so many local businesses that shut down, they couldn't donate. And what's happened in Waveney is that people have been following Brexit and there has previously been a large UKIP vote, but that all went to the Tories."
Mr Finnigan added that Labour has a large national membership so the lack of donations was not a factor in Sonia Barker's success.
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Despite only receiving £90 in donations, Sonia Barker spent more than £8,000 on her campaign, funded by party members.
However, she was not the top spender, as Mr Aldous spent £11,242.83 on his campaign.
Mr Aldous said his campaign raised the money from a variety of sources.
"We had a local fundraising campaign - obviously it costs money to run a general election, and we had a large number of donations, and what those went towards, the vast thing was publishing printing of election material. It was a standard campaign and that's the main thing we always spend our money on."
Mr Aldous was donated £4,200 from three individuals in the constituency, a further £3,907 from the Waveney Conservative Association, as well as £1,000 from the United and Cecil dining club, an elite group who bankroll the Tories in marginal seats, and £2,000 from Althea Healthcare properties, who provide residential care activities for the elderly and disabled.
The leader of Waveney's Labour group, councillor Peter Byatt said: "It's no secret the Conservatives have access to much more funding than we do."
Returns also showed the Green candidate was donated £1,291.79 and spent £1,415.40, while the Christian People's Alliance candidate was donated £1,167 and spent £520.