UKIP's most generous individual donor is the UK government

Nigel FaragePhoto by Carl Court/Getty ImagesTotal funding for Nigel Farage’s party was 25 times smaller than that of the Conservatives.

New figures show UKIP received more money from the state than any of its private donors in the final quarter of last year.

Fresh data on party donations published by the Electoral Commission detail how the anti-EU party’s biggest donor at the end of 2015 was from a special Electoral Commission policy development fund.

Nigel Farage’s party — which is entitled to financial assistance due to having an MP in Douglas Carswell — collected £89,869 in “short funds” from the British state.

This sum was the party’s biggest donation for the period — with an £80,000 contribution from Ko Barclay, the stepson of billionaire media tycoon Sir Frederick Barclay, UKIP’s second-highest donation.

UKIP, which likes to bill itself as an anti-establishment party, was also given a “non-cash” donation of £34,232.69 by company Rock Services whose director, Arron Banks, is a major financial backer of the Brexit-supporting organisation Grassroots Out.

“Short funds” refers to money handed out to opposition parties at Westminster to help them with their costs and aid them in carrying out their parliamentary functions effectively.

UKIP collected a combined total of £286,151 in the final quarter of last year, a sum that was surpassed by the Lib Dems who collected £828,657 in short funds and private donations combined.

A UKIP spokesman told The Guardian: “These are campaign donors. People give money to UKIP to fight for Britain’s exit from the EU so we can hardly complain when they give money to the campaigns fighting for Britain’s exit from the EU.”

Unsurprisingly, Britain’s big two parties continue to dominate funding.

The Conservatives recorded a total of £5.4 million in party funding with private donations (£5.1 million) amounting to a sum which was 25 times larger than total private donations (£196,282) received by UKIP.

Labour took in £4.1 million (£2.5 million in private donations) with considerable financial backing coming from unions.

The full set of results can be found here.

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