The UK Independence party has raised more money than the Liberal Democrats for the first time, according to official figures released on Wednesday for the second quarter.

Nigel Farage’s party raised £1.4m, £170,00 more than the coalition party. It has also topped the list of the highest individual gift to any single party, after receiving £1m from Paul Sykes, a former Tory donor, over the same period.

The figures from the Electoral Commission also showed that the Conservative party raised nearly twice as much as Labour, with gifts from City donors helping its total to £7.2m.

The figures reflect the period leading up to the European elections when Ukip ran its biggest campaign and won 27.5% of the vote, beating all other parties. The Tories also launched high-profile campaigns to fight off Ukip’s threat.

Recently released party accounts show that the Lib Dems’ membership of 43,451 is also being challenged by Ukip which had 32,447 members.

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