Sky News Westminster Accounts Reveal Cumbrian MPs Declared Over £600,000 Since 2019

The new database from Sky News and Tortoise, the Westminster Accounts, has revealed Cumbrian MPs declared over £600,000, collectively, since December 2019.

Westminster Accounts is a new public searchable database that makes it easier for the public to see where the money in politics comes from.

The easy to use database shows MP, Party and all-party parliamentary groups income, donations and gifts from all sources.

Westminster Accounts Explained

John Ryley, Head of Sky News, said: “This pioneering project from Sky News and Tortoise will give the public a better understanding of how politics is funded in this country.

“The Westminster Accounts tool is available to everyone and is a big step in making the workings of parliament more transparent and understandable for the public at large.”

Some of the results are not that surprising with the Labour being donated £32.5 million with Unions being some of the biggest backers such as Unite, Unison and GMB.

The Conservative Party top the table with £76 million in donations from individuals and companies and the Liberal Democrats

James Harding, Founder and Editor of Tortoise Media, said: “Until now, it’s been impossible to make sense of the relationship between money and politics.

“Parliament might be transparent in theory, but, by default or design, the jumble of declarations, registers and accounts has made it very hard to understand who gives, who gets, how much and for what.

“The Westminster Accounts makes all that information accessible for all of us.”

The database covers the entirety of the current parliament – from its start on December 19 2019 to the most recent disclosures, and makes use of the following datasets:

-  From the Register of Members’ Financial Interests: Earnings from secondary employment, cash donations, gifts (including all gifted international travel), and other benefits for all sitting and former members of the current parliament. 

  – From the Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups: Cash donations, gifts and other benefits for all APPGs that have operated at any point during the current parliament, as well as membership lists for each group 

 Users can take the journey from MP to APPG to political party, linking the flow of cash and gifts that fuels our political system. Or simply search by organisation or individual to see a list of how much they have donated or gifted to MPs, APPGs and parties. 

- From the Electoral Commission: Cash donations, gifts and other benefits received by all political parties currently represented in the House of Commons

Cumbrian MPs Declare Over £600,000

According to the Westminster Accounts the six MPs from Cumbria, since their election on December 19 2019, have declared a combined £678,840.

  • Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat) – £260,300
  • Mark Jenkinson (Conservative) – £184,400
  • John Stevenson (Conservative) – £146,400
  • Trudy Harrison (Conservative) – £44,930
  • Simon Fell (Conservative) – £41,710
  • Dr Neil Hudson (Conservative) – £1,100

Tim Farron is the Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, since the beginning of the current parliament at the end of 2019, the 52-year-old has declared 23 financial interests. The donations, gifts, payments and other benefits are worth the equivalent of approximately £260,300.

Mark Jenkinson is the conservative MP for Workington and since the beginning of the current parliament at the end of 2019, the 40-year-old has declared 47 financial interests. The 47 donations, gifts, payments and other benefits are reported to be worth the equivalent of £184,400.

John Stevenson is the Conservative MP for Carlisle and since the beginning of the current parliament at the end of 2019, the 59-year-old has declared 55 financial interests. These donations, gifts, payments and other benefits are reported to be worth the equivalent of £146,400.

Trudy Harrison is the Conservative MP for Copeland and since the beginning of the current parliament, at the end of 2019, the 46-year-old has declared nine financial interested. These donations, gifts, payments and other benefits are reported to be worth the equivalent of £44,710.

Simon Fell is the Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness and since the beginning of the current parliament, at the end of 2019, the 41-year-old has declared 11 financial interests. These donations, gifts, payments and other benefits are reported to be worth the equivalent of £41,710.

Dr Neil Hudson, Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border, since the beginning of the current parliament at the end end of 2019, has declared two financial interests. These donations, gifts, payments and other benefits are reported to be worth the equivalent of £1,100.

The Herdwick News contacted all Cumbrian MPs for a response.

Simon Fell did respond saying the ‘majority of the money quoted’ was donated to his ‘general election fighting fund’ in 2019.

He said: “I haven’t received any gifts or income other than my salary, and all donations have been registered with the Electoral Commission on time through the proper channels and have been used to pay for party political activities as part of my democratic engagement with constituents.

“The majority of the money quoted here was donated to my general election fighting fund when I was the Conservative Party Candidate which, again, was all declared with the Electoral Commission, and was used to cover my election costs in 2019.”