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Jeremy Hunt has given over £100,000 to local Tory party in bid to retain seat

<span>Hunt’s contributions under the last three prime ministers stand in stark contrast to the £4,447 he gifted under Theresa May and David Cameron combined.</span><span>Photograph: James Manning/PA</span>
Hunt’s contributions under the last three prime ministers stand in stark contrast to the £4,447 he gifted under Theresa May and David Cameron combined.Photograph: James Manning/PA

Jeremy Hunt has been forced to contribute more than £100,000 of his own money to his constituency Conservative party to bolster his chances of re-election, official records show, amid warnings that he is set to lose his seat.

Hunt’s Godalming and Ash constituency is a target seat for the Liberal Democrats, and a Survation poll projects that he is on course to become the first chancellor in modern times to lose at a general election.

Electoral Commission records show that he has given £105,261 to the South-west Surrey Conservative association over the last five years.

The chancellor’s personal donations to the association under the last three Conservative prime ministers stand in stark contrast to the total £4,447 he gifted under the leadership of Theresa May and David Cameron.

The most recent accounts for Hunt’s local association have warned that its “balance sheet is at a less than satisfactory level”. A note stated that members’ annual subscriptions were due to increase this year.

Donations to the chancellor’s association were down by almost 50% in 2021. South West Surrey received only £42,693 in donationsthat year, down from over £80,000 in 2020.

A Labour source said: “This tells you everything you need to know about the state of the Conservative party, with the chancellor seemingly spending more time dishing out personal cheques to prolong his political career than fixing the economy his government has wrecked.

“And on the same day the chancellor is talking about clamping down on money being wasted, he might want to look at how he is spending some of his own money.”

Related: Jeremy Hunt’s seat under threat as voters put NHS ahead of tax perks

Hunt said on Sunday: “I hope to be chancellor after the election.” However, the poll in his constituency shows the Lib Dems on 35% of the vote, the Tories on 29% and Labour on 22%. When local voters were asked to outline the issues that would determine how they would vote, health and the NHS was top, while only 4% said tax was a key issue.

Daisy Cooper, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It’s no wonder that Jeremy Hunt is on the brink of his losing his seat when people across Surrey are furious they can’t get GP appointments, that their hospitals have been left to crumble, and water firms are still allowed to pollute their rivers.

“In the chancellor’s own back yard, food bank demand is surging after his government failed to get a grip on the cost of living crisis. Liberal Democrats are fired up in Surrey to oust Conservative MPs who have taken people for granted.”