Fourteen MPs have been given more than £250,000 each towards their campaigns and causes, according to an investigation into the flow of money into Westminster.
A months-long investigation by Sky News and the Tortoise news website resulted in the launch of a new database of political donations and MPs’ outside earnings.
It showed that senior politicians – from Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – were all given between £258,000 and £752,800 from various companies and individuals during this UK parliament, which started in December 2019.
All the information on donations is available through parliament’s register of interests, but Sky News and Tortoise Media have collated all the figures for the first time in one database, with total sums and details of which MPs are receiving how much money and from whom.
The database, called the Westminster Accounts, compiles records from the MPs’ Register of Interests, the Electoral Commission and other official registers and aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the financing of British politics since the last election.
As well as political donations, the Westminster Accounts identified the MPs earning the most from second jobs, with former prime minister Theresa May coming top of the list.
May has received £2.8m in payments and gifts since December 2019, mostly in the form of speaking fees paid to her private office.
Former attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox was the second-highest earning, receiving £2.1m, mostly from his legal work, while Boris Johnson has received £1.2m since December 2019.
Johnson’s payments include more than £1m in speaking fees earned since he left Downing Street in September.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is top of the leaderboard for campaign donations, with £752,809 given to him by 67 companies and individuals.
Rishi Sunak comes in behind Sir Keir with £546,043 in donations for his leadership campaign this summer, when he lost to Liz Truss before becoming prime minister when she stepped down.
Donations, gifts and secondary earnings made to Scottish MPs
Here is a breakdown of what Scottish MPs have declared in donations, gifts and earnings from other employment since the start of the current UK Parliament in 2019.
|Hannah Bardell||SNP||Livingston||Declared no financial interests|
|Mhairi Black||SNP||Paisley and Renfrewshire South||Declared no financial interests|
|Ian Blackford||SNP||Ross, Skye and Lochaber||Declared 12 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £38,120 from Golden Charter Trust, an investment firm|
|Kirsty Blackman||SNP||Aberdeen North||Declared two financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £5,650 from Clare Sainsbury.|
|Steven Bonnar||SNP||Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill||Declared two financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £2,100 from North Lanarkshire Council.|
|Andrew Bowie||Conservative||West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine||Declared two financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £1,500 from UK Music and the German political party foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung|
|Deidre Brock||SNP||Edinburgh North and Leith||Declared no financial interests|
|Alan Brown||SNP||Kilmarnock and Loudoun||Declared 19 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £5,300 from the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, as well as polling firms YouGov and Ipsos Mori|
|Amy Callaghan||SNP||East Dunbartonshire||Declared seven financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £600 from market research consultancy Savanta ComRes and polling firm YouGov|
|Lisa Cameron||SNP||East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lasmahagow||Declared ten financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £19,410 from Christian Action Research and Education, the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the honorary consulate for the Republic of San Marino, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar, the British Phonographic Industry, the Middle East Forum and YouGov.|
|Alistair Carmichael||Lib Dem||Orkney and Shetland||Declared six financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £21,670 from Sudhir Choudhrie, House Magazine, Robert Laurence, Joe Zammit-Lucia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar|
|Wendy Chamberlain||Lib Dem||North East Fife||Declared 13 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £27,560 from Peak Scientific Holdings, Sir Bob Reid, the National Liberal Club, St Andrews Links, the R&A Championships, YouGov, Ipsos Mori, Results UK and the Centre for Turkey Studies and Development|
|Douglas Chapman||SNP||Dunfermline and West Fife||Declared one financial interest – a gift worth £5,800 from the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation|
|Joanna Cherry||SNP||Edinburgh South West||Declared 18 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £23,120. The largest single donation is worth £3,000 from Flagship Media Group. She also received earnings for her column in The National newspaper and from Franco-British Colloque (the Franco-British Council)|
|Ronnie Cowan||SNP||Inverclyde||Declared no financial interests|
|Angela Crawley||SNP||Lanark and Hamilton East||Declared no financial interests|
|Martyn Day||SNP||Linlithgow and East Falkirk||Declared three financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £8,520 from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ipsos Mori|
|Martin Docherty-Hughes||SNP||West Dunbartonshire||Declared no financial interests|
|Dave Doogan||SNP||Angus||Declared 44 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £5,690 from Perth and Kinross Council, Savanta ComRes, Ipsos Mori and YouGov|
|Allan Dorans||SNP||Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock||Declared no financial interests|
|David Duguid||Conservative||Banff and Buchan||Declared three financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £9,000. He receive a donation worth £5,000 from Stalbury Trustees, a donation from Lord Philip Harris and a gift worth £1,000 from the Milli Majlis (the National Assembly in Azerbaijan)|
|Marion Fellows||SNP||Motherwell and Wishaw||Declared no financial interests|
|Margaret Ferrier||Independent||Rutherglen and Hamilton West||Declared no financial interests|
|Stephen Flynn||SNP||Aberdeen South||Declared four financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £3,220 from Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Parliament|
|Patricia Gibson||SNP||North Ayrshire and Arran||Declared 26 financial interests so far worth the equivalent of approximately £1,960 from Savanta ComRes and Yonder Consulting|
|Patrick Grady||SNP||Glasgow North||Declared 52 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £5,360 from Ipsos Mori, Yonder Consulting, YouGov and Savanta ComRes|
|Peter Grant||SNP||Glenrothes||Declared 19 financial interests so far are worth the equivalent of approximately £1,760 from Savanta ComRes and YouGov|
|Neale Hanvey||Alba||Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath||Declared three financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £500 from YouGov and Ipsos Mori|
|Drew Hendry||SNP||Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey||Declared 15 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £6,520 from Witherby Publishing Group, Beaver Creek Lodge, Savanta ComRes, Ipsos Mori and YouGov|
|Stewart Hosie||SNP||Dundee East||Declared no financial interests|
|Alister Jack||Conservative||Dumfries and Galloway||Declared ten financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £36,950 from John Cooper, Sir Chippendale Keswick, Lady Sarah Keswick, Sir Henry Keswick, William F Forbes, Simon Hodgson and James Stewart|
|Christine Jardine||Lib Dem||Edinburgh West||Declared five financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £6,400 from the Swiss Foreign Ministry and Scottish Rugby Union|
|John Lamont||Conservative||Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk||Declared seven financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £30,820 from Ian McVeigh, the Conservative Middle East Council, Rob Harding, the Football Association Premier League, Alice Pringle and alcoholic beverage firm Diageo|
|Chris Law||SNP||Dundee West||The only item Law has declared is a gift worth £600 from the Armenian National Parliament|
|David Linden||SNP||Glasgow East||Declared seven financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £700 from YouGov|
|Kenny MacAskill||Alba||East Lothian||Declared 38 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £8,620 from JPI Media and Scots Magazine|
|Angus MacNeil||SNP||Na h-Eileanan an Iar||Declared nine financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £17,990 from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the British Phonographic Industry, YouGov, CMD Polling and The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises|
|Stewart McDonald||SNP||Glasgow South||Declared four financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £5,360 from Yalta European Strategy, Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, the Europeum Institute for European Policy and the non-profit organisation Article 36|
|Stuart McDonald||SNP||Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East||Declared no financial interests|
|Anne McLaughlin||SNP||Glasgow North East||Declared four financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £300 from YouGov|
|John McNally||SNP||Falkirk||Declared no financial interests|
|Carol Monaghan||SNP||Glasgow North West||Declared two financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £7,800 from Satellite Applications Catapult, a space technology firm, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo|
|David Mundell||Conservative||Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale||Declared 16 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £59,940 from Glenrath Farms, James Stewart, IX Wireless, David Stevenson, Lord Philip Harris, William J Hewitson, Mary Coltman, Kirklee Property Company, Results UK, Diageo, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Halo Trust and Stewart Grieve|
|Ian Murray||Labour||Edinburgh South||Declared 36 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £88,250 from Lord Matthew Oakeshott, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, Community Union, Baroness Meta Ramsay, Fiona Mactaggart, Jonathan Wild, Gordon Dalyell, Luath Press, Lord William Haughie, Mark Bathgate, the GMB union, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the R&A Championships, YouGov and, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and DXC UK|
|Gavin Newlands||SNP||Paisley and Renfrewshire North||Declared 14 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £3,360 from the R&A Championships, Tennis Scotland, YouGov and Ipsos Mori|
|John Nicolson||SNP||Ochil and South Perthshire||Declared 16 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £36,350 from News UK, the R&A Championships, Global Media and Entertainment, and Sky UK|
|Brendon O’Hara||SNP||Argyll and Bute||Declared three financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £8,290 from ABColombia, Bellwether International and Mankind is my Business|
|Kirsten Oswald||SNP||East Renfrewshire||Declared two financial interests – secondary earnings worth the equivalent of approximately £1,870 from the City of Glasgow College|
|Anum Qaisar||SNP||Airdrie and Shotts||Declared two financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £10,780 from George Watson’s College the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus|
|Douglas Ross||Conservative||Moray||Declared 77 financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £100,200 from Alasdair Locke, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alasdair N Laing, Stalbury Trustees, the Scottish Unionist Association Trust, John S Martin, the Carlton Club, Salmon Scotland, Diageo, the Scottish Parliament, UEFA, the Scottish Football Association and Aberdeen FC|
|Tommy Sheppard||SNP||Edinburgh East||Declared three financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £5,990 from the United Nations Population Fund, the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and the Centre for Turkey Studies and Development|
|Alyn Smith||SNP||Stirling||The only item Smith has declared is a gift worth £1,850 from Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars|
|Chris Stephens||SNP||Glasgow South West||Declared three financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £92,280 from the Public and Commercial Services Union|
|Jamie Stone||Lib Dem||Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross||Declared three financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £9,620 from Satellite Applications Catapult, More United and the British Phonographic Association|
|Alison Thewliss||SNP||Glasgow Central||Declared no financial interests|
|Owen Thompson||SNP||Midlothian||The only item Thompson has declared is £1,020 in secondary earnings from the Scottish Parliament.|
|Richard Thomson||SNP||Gordon||Declared four financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £6,530 from Aberdeenshire Council|
|Philippa Whitford||SNP||Central Ayrshire||Declared five financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £9,890 from NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Unite – Association of Parliamentarians to End Infectious Diseases and Results UK|
|Pete Wishart||SNP||Perth and North Perthshire||Declared four financial interests worth the equivalent of approximately £7,370 from Ridge Records, Chrysalis Records and MP4|
Transparency campaigners have hailed the investigation as a “wake-up call” for British politics.
Duncan Hames, director of policy at Transparency International UK, said the database would “empower” members of the public to ask questions about the donations their MPs were receiving.
He said: “We’re used to trawling through all sorts of registers. This puts it very easily at the fingertips of everyone and enables us to move on from formal declarations and transparency returns to some real accountability.”
The investigation has already raised questions about the true source of political donations from companies.
Hames warned that donations by companies made it harder to see who was really funding UK politicians.
He said: “For the most part, this isn’t the big multinational companies that you’ve heard of. More often than not, these companies are simply mechanisms by which very wealthy people organise their wealth and their assets.
“It’s not like you’re looking on the register to see if McDonald’s has been funding a political party – it’s a company that’s in all likelihood owned by a couple of people and it’s really them that are giving money to the politicians.”
He added: “The public has a right to know, and if who is funding their politicians is shrouded behind layers of company transactions then they don’t really know.”
Susan Hawley, executive director at Spotlight on Corruption, echoed Hames’s comments, saying: “This should be a real wake-up call to the UK political establishment to get serious about ensuring parties conduct proper checks on donations and are fully transparent about where the money is coming from.
“More fundamentally, we have to have a serious public debate about the undue influence that donating to political parties allows, and how that distorts democratic decision-making.”
Both Sunak and Starmer said they welcomed the publication of the Westminster Accounts database.
Sunak said: “I think transparency is really important for the healthy functioning of democracy, it’s absolutely right that there’s disclosures around donations and outside interests.”
On Sunday, the Labour leader told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “I think we’ve got some of the strongest rules in terms of what we have to declare, but the more transparency the better, so that everybody can see exactly what has been declared and ask whatever questions they want to about it.”
All MPs are required by law to report certain financial interests to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, whose office publishes a register of all MPs’ interests every fortnight.
MPs are required to report both their own direct financial interests and any donations or other payments that are received by their local constituency party to support their work or election.
Because not all interests are simple sums of money, members must assign equivalent values to things like gifts, which makes it possible to calculate an overall value for each MP.
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