Tories beg for more money as ‘union barons and champagne socialists’ boost Labour coffers

Sir Keir Starmer - Tories beg for more money as 'union barons and champagne socialists' boost Labour coffers
Not only is Sir Keir Starmer's party leading in the polls, but it is also awash with more money than the Conservatives - PA/Stefan Rousseau

‌“Union barons and champagne socialists” are behind a surge in donations to Labour, the Conservatives have claimed in an appeal for cash from supporters.

An email sent to activists on Sunday urged activists to “close the gap” after Sir Keir Starmer’s party received 15 times more private money than the Tories during the second week of the campaign.

Labour raised almost £4.4 million in donations worth more than £11,180 during the second week of the campaign, data from the election watchdog showed, while the Conservatives raised £292,500 – less than Reform UK and the Liberal Democrats.

The message to Tory supporters, sent in the name of senior party staff member Alan Mabbutt, said: “Looks like the trade unions are chipping in for Labour. Will you chip in for us?

“Labour raised fifteen times as much in large donations as we did during the second week of the campaign. And we need your help to close the gap.

“These figures are only for large donations. Really large donations. The kind that trade union barons and champagne socialists can afford to make. So whilst they flood Labour’s coffers, we’re reliant on you more than ever before.”

‘Prospect of Labour having largest majority in British political history’

The Conservatives have typically attracted bigger donations from individuals and big businesses in the past, while Labour is traditionally more reliant on trade union backing.

Asking members to “help us close the fundraising gap”, the email went on to echo warnings that Sir Keir would enjoy unchecked power if the opinion polls are correct.

“If Labour sustains this fundraising advantage for the rest of the campaign, then we won’t just be looking at a Labour government.

“But we’ll be facing the prospect of Keir Starmer having the largest majority in British political history. Meaning he’ll have complete freedom to do what he wants with no-one holding him to account.”

Tory chiefs have switched their strategy during the campaign to warn voters not to hand Labour a “super-majority” in what critics see as an admission of defeat.

Polls currently have Labour around 20 points ahead of the Conservatives, with some surveys showing the party is in third place behind Reform.

Tory private donations just a 10th of 2019 figure

The email, which made four mentions of Sir Keir but did not reference Rishi Sunak, concluded by echoing claims made by the Prime Minister that Labour wants to “change the system to help them stay in power for generations” by lowering the voting age to 16.

“That’s why we need you to stop them today,” it said. “The next 11 days will determine if Keir Starmer gets this unaccountable majority to do whatever he wants.

“So will you chip in any amount today to help us close this fundraising gap, and stop Starmer getting a blank cheque?”

In March, Labour hailed its “best fundraising year ever” which Anneliese Dodds, the party chairman, has attributed to changes made under Sir Keir’s leadership.

Data from the Electoral Commission showed the Conservatives have to date received just a 10th of the private donations they did in the 2019 election.

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