Socialist Worker

Respect smeared for having too many supporters

Issue No. 1980

New Labour is worried that Respect could take control of Tower Hamlets and Newham councils.

That is why a number of smears have been directed at Respect over the last few months. The latest came last week from the New Politics Network, a thinktank that looks into donations to political parties.

It launched an attack on Respect using the fact that just £54,000 donated to the party came from individuals who had each given more than £5,000.

The thinktank claimed, “No other political party in the UK simultaneously spends so much while raising so little from large donors.

“It is possible that Respect is raising its money through small individual donations, but it is hard to see how such a new party could have developed such a huge network of members and supporters in such a short period of time.”

Donations of less than £5,000 do not have to be individually recorded. An overwhelming majority of Respect’s campaign support came from such donations, membership fees and loans.

“Respect is funded by a great many small donors compared with the other main parties who are backed by a small number of large donors,” said Respect MP George Galloway.

“Through the commitment and generosity of many hundreds of our supporters Respect raised £240,000 for the European elections and £320,000 for high-profile by-elections and the successful general election campaign.

“We have developed a huge network of members and supporters — over 10,000 — since the inception of Respect. It shows that we are a model for a new and democratic politics.”

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Sat 10 Dec 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1980
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