Rowland gives Tories £1m

DAVID Rowland, the property tycoon, gave the Tories a £1.065m gift in the third quarter, figures released yesterday showed, making him the biggest political donor.

Rowland had been expected to become the Tory party treasurer, although he ruled himself out after other donors balked at the prospect of his appointment.

Overall, donations plummeted compared to the period before the election, falling to £7.2m from £26.26m in the second quarter, according to figures from the Electoral Commission.

The second biggest donor was trade union Unite, which gave the Labour party £818,366.

In a remarkable twist, the UK Independence Party raised more cash than the Liberal Democrats, reflecting the party’s flagging support.

UKIP raised £354,000 while the Liberals – who raked in £2m in the second quarter – received just £350,645.