Fund-raising the dead

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If nothing else, Labour is unlikely to suffer embarrassment from dodgy donations this year.

In the first three months of 2009 the party only received £254,000 from individuals, compared to the Conservatives' £2.98 million. Not only that, but of the six individuals who donated more than £10,000 to Labour, only two are actually alive. Four of the top donations came in the form of bequests from deceased Labour supporters, with only one living individual donating more than the dead.

Between July and September last year Labour received £7.6 million from individual donors. This fell to £3.2 million for October to December.

The majority of Labour donations still come from trade unions (£2.2 million in January to March). But with even the Unison union threatening to withhold the cash, Gordon and Co had better think of some way out. After all, there might be an election soon.