Tories hike annual party membership fee by £14

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The Conservative Party is hiking membership fees after a fall in donations, a move that has drawn ire from some Tory MPs.

It is understood that the fee for new members will increase from £25 to £39 per year as the party attempts to pad its coffers ahead of the next general election, due by January 2025.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “An increase to the membership fee, which has been frozen for 16 years, has been agreed.

“Existing members will see their membership fee frozen in 2023 and the new membership fee remains substantially cheaper than Labour’s.”

Most Labour members pay around £50 per year.

It comes as the Government is refusing unions’ demands for public sector pay rises as it battles to curb inflation.

One Tory MP reacted angrily to news of the fee hike, calling the move “stupid”.

Justin Tomlinson, the Tory MP for North Swindon, tweeted: “Absolutely stupid idea.

“If the Party needs to balance the books stop wasting £millions on polling / research telling us the blinding obvious.

“Money should be spent on campaigning and membership organisation – not a difficult concept.”

Donations to Labour dwarfed those received by the Tories, official figures on Tuesday showed.

Labour received £4.7 million in donations between July and September.

The Conservatives received £2.9 million over the same period, according to Electoral Commission data.

The sum donated to Rishi Sunak’s party was also the lowest in over two years.

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