Electoral Commission
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First details of EU referendum campaign spending published by Electoral Commission

The detail of more than £4.5 million of spending by 48 campaigners at the EU Referendum has been published by the Electoral Commission, the independent political finance regulator.

The data released today covers those campaigners that reported spend of between £10,000 and £250,000 at the EU referendum. Any individual or organisation which intended to spend more than £10,000 campaigning for an outcome at the referendum was required to register with the Commission as a ‘permitted participant’.

Campaigners which spent under £250,000 were required to submit spending returns to the Commission by 23 September 2016. Campaigners over this threshold have until 23 December 2016 to submit an independently audited spending return to the Commission and this data will be published in due course.

The Commission has also published today the campaign spending of two campaigners who spent over £250,000 – Mr Darren Grimes and We Are Europe – as they submitted their independently audited spending return in advance of the statutory deadline.

Commenting on the data, Bob Posner, the Electoral Commission’s Director of Political Finance and Regulation & Legal Counsel said:

“The information we have published today provides a first chance to see the amounts of spending by many of the campaigners at the referendum.

“The publication of this data is vital in ensuring transparency and accountability, both in how campaigners obtained funds as well as how they spent them.”

There were 123 registered campaigners at the EU Referendum. A breakdown of the 48 campaigners whose campaign spending we have published can be seen in the notes to editors. A further 47 campaigners declared that, although registering they did not spend over £10,000 on campaigning during the regulated period and as a result are not required to report their expenditure. A list of those campaigners can be seen in the notes to editors.

The Commission will publish details of the remaining 28 campaigners yet to submit a spending return in the New Year.

Details of the campaign spending published today, including copies of individual invoices or receipts for costs over £200, are available on Commission’s online interactive database here.

Reported Donations

Under the legislation, registered campaigners were required to complete four pre-poll reports setting out what donations and loans they had received over £7,500 between 1 February 2016 and 23 June 2016. These were published by the Electoral Commission and a summary of the pre-poll reports is available here.

As part of their spending return, campaigners that spent under £250,000 are also required to report a combined total for any donations accepted with a value between £500 and £7,500.

Campaigners reported accepting £319,278 in donations valued between £500 and £7,500.

Taken together campaigners that spent under £250,000 reported accepting donations totalling £2,476,555.

The breakdown between campaigners registered for both outcomes was:

Outcome Donations over £7,500 Donations £500-£7,500 Total


£1,115,507 £228,912 £1,344,419


£1,361,048 £90,366 £1,451,414


Late reporting

Four campaigners, Community, Economists for Remain, Veterans for Britain and Traditional Unionist Voice – TUV submitted their spending return after the 23 September deadline. The TUV submitted a nil return. The Commission will consider each of these reporting failures in line with its Enforcement Policy.

Comparisons to other UK held referendums

The EU referendum saw more registered campaigners than at any UK held referendum since the Commission was established in 2000. In addition, campaigners who spent under £250,000 raised more funds and spent more on campaigning during the specified regulated period than at any previous UK referendum. You can see a summary of this below:

UK held referendum Total number of registered campaigners Amount spent by campaigners spending under £250,000 Amount raised by campaigners spending under £250,000

EU referendum

123 £3,817,289 £2,795,833

Scottish Independence referendum

42 £1,434,338 £1,038,643

AV referendum

12 £283,242 £213,234

For further information contact:

The Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Out of office hours 07789 920 414

Notes to editors

The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulation of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).

The Electoral Commission has specific responsibilities and functions in relation to the delivery and regulation of referendums held under PPERA, which applies to any referendum Bill brought before the UK Parliament unless specifically stated otherwise.

Reported spending by campaigners

Remain campaigners Reported spend (£)
Adecco (UK) Limited £26,534
Another Europe Is Possible £37,160
Avaaz Campaigns UK £116,975
Cambridge for Europe £40,251
City of London Corporation £48,612
Communication Workers Union £86,543
Community £11,325
DDB UK Limited £249,715
East Midlands Training Limited £19,760
Economists For Remain £43,210
Friends of the Earth Trust £30,693
GMB £96,430
Green Party £48,815
Labour Movement for Europe £11,309
Lebara Ltd £220,573
London First £101,655
Michelle Ovens Ltd £82,673
Mr Edward Izzard £36,229
Mr Robert Laurence Taylor £15,210
Mr Wolfgang Tillmans £33,758
National Farmers' Union £73,565
Referendum Facts Ltd £170,201
Scientists for EU Limited £198,664
SCOR UK Company Limited £192,000
Scottish National Party (SNP) £90,830
Trades Union Congress (TUC) £97,909
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) £104,190
Unite the Union £140,173
Universities UK £69,365
Wake Up And Vote £96,893
We Are Europe £326,445
Remain Total £2,917,667


Leave campaigners Reported spend (£)
Economists for Brexit £54,000
Fishing For Leave £21,656
Global Britain Limited £209,302
GO Movement Ltd £22,683
Grassroots Out Ltd £219,215
Green-Leaves £14,481
Imaginexit Limited £45,176
JD Wetherspoon PLC £94,586
Mr Darren Grimes £676,016
Mr Michael Pye £14,014
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers £45,083
News Group Newspapers Ltd £96,898
The Campaign For An Independent Britain Limited £62,369
The Freedom Association Limited £90,341
Trade Unionists Against The European Union £73,948
Veterans for Britain £146,945
Leave total £1,901,815


Total £4,819,482

A full list of registered campaigners for the EU referendum can be seen here

Registered campaigners are limited as to how much they can spend during the formal ‘referendum period’ (which began on 15 April and runs until the close of poll on 23 June). Designated lead campaigners have a spending limit of £7 million each. Other registered campaigners have a spending limit of £700,000. Political parties which register as campaigners have a spending limit based on the percentage of the vote they received at the last general election. See our media handbook for information here.

The campaigners who submitted returns indicating spending of £10,000 or less were:

Campaign Against Euro-Federalism
Children of the Atom
Connolly Association
Conservative Group for Europe
Democrat Publications
Dr Richard North
English Democrats
English Lobby
English National Party
FAB says Leave
Federal Trust for Education and Research
Global Justice Now
Global Markets Free Nations
Lawyers - In For Britain
Mr Arron Banks
Mr John Poynton
Mr John Sweeney
Mr Martin Banbury
Mr Matthew Jones
Mr Philip Lenton
Mr Zaccheus Gilpin
Mrs Katie Pruszynski
Muslims for Britain
Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party
Progress Limited
Priscilla Nwikpo
Scientists for Britain Limited
Scottish Green Party
SDLP (Social Democratic & Labour Party)
Social Democratic Party
Social Market Foundation
Stronger United Ltd
The Bow Group
The Fire Brigades Union
The Leave Alliance
The Republican Socialist Party
The ResPublica Trust
The Scottish Council of the European Movement
Third Generation Environmentalism Ltd
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Traditional Unionist Voice - TUV
UK Indians for Remaining in Europe Ltd
Women for Britain
Workers of England Union
New Europeans

For more information about the rules regarding donations and loans at the EU referendum, see our media handbook here.

The figures reported by campaigners have been rounded to the nearest £. Exact figures are available on our website.

Channel website: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk

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