Keir Starmer challenged to publish all campaign donations | Politics

A prominent supporter of Rebecca Long-Bailey has challenged Keir Starmer to release details of all donations to his Labour leadership campaign immediately, saying any further delay is “anti-democratic”.

Jon Trickett, a senior ally of Jeremy Corbyn, said there was a need to “end the secrecy” in an escalation of tensions over the issue of leadership campaign donations.

Starmer, the frontrunner, committed to releasing his campaign donations in tranches on the official register of MPs’ interests but critics say these donations do not need to be officially accepted for 30 days and then they do not have to be declared for another 28 days.

Long-Bailey and the third contender, Lisa Nandy, have both released what they say are full lists of their donations on their own websites.

The register of MPs’ interests was published on Tuesday and showed Starmer’s latest tranche of donations included £100,000 from fellow barrister Robert Latham, £5,000 from another barrister, Richard Hermer, £2,500 from an individual called Iain Simpson and the cost of various hotel stays amounting to around £2,500 from a company linked to Farah Sassoon, a wealthy Labour donor.

Starmer’s campaign said all his donations have to go through their compliance team to make sure they are properly registered with the parliamentary authorities and this is done to ensure there are no mistakes.

However, Trickett, the shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said all candidates should release all records of their donations now, while voting in the contest was in its early stages.

“I’ve been campaigning against the influence of money in politics for years. Whether it’s in general elections or internal party elections, we need to end the secrecy,” he said.

“By only publishing donations via the register, candidates can self-finance in order to delay accepting donations, allowing them to publish these later on. You don’t have to officially accept a donation for 30 days and then you don’t have to declare it for another 28 days, so it can be 58 days until it’s declared on the register, which will be after the leadership election is over.

“If we’re actually serious about financial transparency, political donations need to be published by campaigns themselves in real time, rather than waiting for the register. Delaying publishing donations until people have voted is anti-democratic. Voters deserve to know what lies behind the candidates they are being asked to vote for, before they cast their vote, not afterwards.”

Matt Zarb-Cousin, an aide to Long-Bailey, claimed on Twitter that Starmer’s latest release of donations would not cover the amount spent during the leadership campaign. “That all-member mailshot alone would have cost their campaign in the region of £300k. That’s the basis of questions about funding, the campaign appears to have spent a potentially unprecedented amount,” he said.

Starmer has declared about £10,000 of donations from Unison previously and his campaign said it received about £100,000 from crowdfunding.

Long-Bailey’s declaration shows donations of around £215,000 from Unite, more than £52,000 from the Communication Workers Union and nearly £120,000 from Momentum.

Nandy’s campaign release shows just under £200,000 of donations from a variety of individual donors and the GMB.

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