Labour group with links to Keir Starmer fined £14,250 for failing to declare donations

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

An influential Labour Party group has been fined £14,250 for failing to declare donations on time.
Labour Together’s directors include two senior Labour MPs and a major Labour Party donor.
Figures published by the Electoral Commission suggests more than £800,000 was not declared properly.
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An influential Labour Party group with links to the party’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has been fined £14,250 by the UK’s Electoral Commission after failing to declare more than £800,000 in donations within the required 30-day period.

Labour Together counts among its directors high-profile Labour frontbench MPs Lisa Nandy, who is the shadow foreign secretary, and Steve Reed, the shadow communities and local government secretary.

The group had led a high-profile review into the party’s disastrous performance in the 2019 general election, which was later described by the New Statesman as a „blueprint for Starmerism.”

The Electoral Commission fined Labour Together after opening an investigation in December 2020 into multiple breaches of electoral law.

Its investigation found that the group had failed to deliver donation reports within 30 days, inaccurately reported a donation, and failed to make an administrative appointment after having received the donations.

The overdue donations were first published in February 2021. Analysis of the figures by Insider suggested only £165,000 of £970,492 donated between October 2015 and January 2021 were declared on time.

Since February 2021, Labour Together has declared a further £120,000 in donations from its two main backers, Martin Taylor and Trevor Chinn.

Taylor gave £100,000. In 2015, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed him to be a Mayfair hedge fund manager who had given the party more than £600,000. He has given Labour Together £806,992 since October 2015, and gave Starmer £95,000 in March 2020 during the Labour leadership contest.Chinn gave £20,000. He is a businessman and has given Labour Together £245,500 since August 2017. Chinn donated £50,000 to Starmer’s leadership campaign.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the donors.

The Electoral Commission has also announced the outcome of a separate investigation into the Labour Party, which the watchdog said had failed to deliver accurate quarterly donations reports. The party was fined £1,820.

A former managing director of Labour Together is Morgan McSweeney, who was Starmer’s chief of staff until June 2021. Companies House records for the company behind Labour Together show McSweeney was secretary from July 2017 to April 2020, when Starmer became leader of the Labour Party.

In June, McSweeney was moved to a „strategic role” after the party’s consecutive losses in two Parliamentary by-elections, the Independent reported.

Hannah O’Rourke, director of Labour Together, told Insider on Tuesday: „We accept the findings of the Electoral Commission today, and have already paid the fine.

„The administrative oversight that led to this fine was entirely unintentional. We contacted the Electoral Commission as soon as we became aware of the error, and it was important to us to cooperate fully with their investigation.

„We are now fully transparent and compliant with regards to our donations, and have introduced a range of safeguards to our internal processes to ensure that no similar error can occur in the future.”

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