The Conservatives received the most donations in the final three months of last year, with party coffers swollen by more than £8 million ($12.3m), according to new Electoral Commission figures.

Donations to the Tories totalled £8,345,687, with £7,163,988 donated to Labour between October and December 2014, according to the report.

The Liberal democrats received £3,038,500, setting an annual record, Ukip took in £1,505,055 and the Greens £248,520.

The three largest Labour donations came from trade unions, with Unison giving £1,384,289, Unite £1,336,570 and GMB £1,088,810.

Accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Cooper donated £400,000 to Labour. The company has recently come under attack from Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who accused it of "nothing short of the promotion of tax avoidance on an industrial scale".

The Tories' largest donation was £500,000 from Michael D Gooley, the founder of travel company Trailfinders, while Lord Michael Glendonbrook, the former owner of BMI, gave £334,000 and David J Rowland. a property tycoon, donated £322,700.

The Lib Dems received £400,000 from party member Max Batley while Ukip received £394,254 from Rock Services Limited, and £300,000 from Daily Express owner Richard Desmond's company.

Fashion designer Vivian Westwood was the Green's largest donor, giving the party £100,000.

With the general election to be held in May, Britain's eight biggest political parties received £20.3m in donations during the period, up £5m on the previous quarter, and £10m on the final three months of the previous year.

Overall, the Conservatives received more than £10m more in funding than Labour, receiving £28.9m in donations compared to Labour's £18.7m, while the Lib Dems received £8.2m, Ukip £3.8m, and the SNP £3.7m.