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Party of the Dead? Tories Get more Money from Deceased Supporters than Living Members



The Tory party got twice as much money from dead supporters than it did from living members last year, new figures have revealed. The stats have led to ridicule online and a vow to do better from the party’s chairman.

In 2017, legacy payments gifted to the Conservatives totaled £1.69 million ($2.2 million) – over double the £835,000 ($1 million) collected in membership fees. The Tory party is estimated to have 124,000 members.

In contrast, Labour raised some £16.1 million ($20.8 million) from their 500,000-plus membership base – an increase of almost £2 million ($2.6 million) from the year before.

The standard membership package for Labour costs £4.17 ($5.38) a month, while the Tory’s is almost half that, at £2.09 ($2.69).

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The parties’ respective finances were detailed in the 2017 accounts, published by the Electoral Commission. The Conservatives overall income stood at around £45.9 million ($59.2 million), compared to Labour’s £55.7 million ($71.9 million).

Dead Tories also beat their living counterparts in 2013, when legacy payments reached £1.25 million ($1.6 million). However, the Conservatives have consistently made up the vast majority of their income through donations, which amounted to 74 percent in 2017

Following the news, ridicule was heaped on the party by many Labour-supporting Twitter accounts.

Responding to the figures, Tory party chair Brandon Lewis tweeted that its membership was seeing a “steady growth throughout 2018,” though he conceded that there is “always more to do.”