Political Party Funding

The biggest Conservative donors from beyond the Square Mile

Betfair blimp by R4vi

Betfair co-founder Edward Wray donated £59,600 to the Conservative party.
Image courtesy of R4vi / Flickr Creative Commons

The Conservative Party under David Cameron has attracted backers ranging from oil tycoons to an online betting entrepreneur.

The Bureau’s investigation into Tory party funding has revealed that, in addition to extensive donations from the City, the party has received substantial contributions from Edward Wray, co-founder of Betfair, and aviation tycoon Michael Bishop among others.

Industry, which also includes manufacturing and defence, was the most generous sector after financial services in terms of donations to the Conservative party central office and made up 7.5% of the total amount received from companies and individuals.

Oil tycoons
The energy sector also gave generously. The list of donors from this category is topped by oil tycoon Ayman Asfari, founder and chief executive of oil and gas provider Petrofac, who gave £79,200. Fellow oil man Ian Taylor, president of energy traders Vitol Holding, joined him on the list of the top donors with contributions of £65,600. Gas and electricity supplier Scottish Gas also features in the top five donors from the energy sector, having contributed £14,000 to the party.

The transport sector, which includes the automotive and aviation industries, was another big donor, with individuals and companies donating £689,257.19. Top transport donor was Conservative peer and former British Midlands Airways owner Michael Bishop, who donated £335,000. Lord Bishop, who began his career as a baggage handler, sold his BMI stocks in 2008 for a reported £223m.

Key individuals from the leisure industry, which includes hotels, restaurants and casinos, also donated large sums to the Tories. Betfair co-founder Edward Wray’s £59,600 donation was the leisure industry’s largest.

Other household names appeared in the retail sector, which donated a combined total of £551,100. Among the retail sector’s biggest donors were David Whelan, former owner of sports chain JJB, and Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next, who donated £53,600.

Drugs and money
The pharmaceutical industry was also represented in the donor list, giving £58,500. The majority of this came from Lord Ballyedmond, owner of Newry-based veterinary pharmaceuticals company Norbrook Laboratories. The Sunday Times Rich List 2011 names Lord Ballyedmond as Northern Ireland’s most prosperous entrepreneur, with a fortune of £650m.

Sir David Rowland was the most generous donor overall, contributing £1.16m – more than the insurance, City lobbyist/PR and banking sectors combined. Sir David originally made his fortune in property, later becoming a legendary City figure through a series of aggressive corporate takeover deals. The financier has given millions to the Tories in the past, and was due to become Conservative party treasurer last year, until media scrutiny of his tax affairs derailed his appointment.

Read on to see how each sector donated, and the top five donors in each sector.

Top 5 donors by sector

City

Hedge Funds £1,384,070.58
1. Michael S Farmer  £316,600
2. Stanley Fink  £218,700
3. Andrew E Law  £101,000
4. Christopher Rokos  £100,850
5. Paul M Ruddock  £68,666

Financiers £1,305,806.52
1. David Rowland £1,160,936.52
2.The Funding Corporation Group Ltd, IM House  £130,000
3. Vincos Ltd  £50,000
4. Selina Burdell  £25,000
5. Peter M Steward £15,000

Fund and Asset Managers £1,158,000
1. Gloucester Research Limited £166,600
2. Shore Capital Group Plc £125,000
3=. FIL Investment Management Ltd £100,000
3=. Vivian Imerman £100,000
5. Investors in Private Capital Ltd £80,400

Banking £607,771.70   
1. Flowidea Ltd, Arbuthnot House  £68,800
2. Richard Q Hoare £55,000
3=. Simon Robertson (Sir)  £50,000
3=. Jeremy Isaccs  £50,000
3=. David L Mayhew  £50,000
3=. Adam Fleming  £50,000
3=. James R Lupton  £50,000

Private Equity £565,400
1. Alexander Knaster £100,000
2. Edmund G Truell £69,000
3. Jonathan P Moulton £53,600
4=. Roger Nagioff £50,000
4=. Graham Clempson £50,000
4=. Jitesh Gadhia £50,000
4=. Jeremy Isaacs £50,000

Trading, Broking and Dealing £473,253
1. IPGL Ltd, Park House £163,350
2. Peter A Cruddas: £123,600
3. CMC Markets UK Plc £100,000
4. Neil Record: £35,050
5. Nicholas Finegold: £22,600

Financial Services £193,157.40
1. Abduladem El Mayet £50,000
2= Barnford Industries Limited, Romeo House £25,000
2= Killik & Co LLP, 46 Grosvenor Street £25,000
2= Julian L Smith £25,000
5. Grahame N Elliott £13,200

Insurance £189,400
1=. Andrew Brannon  £50,000
1=. Henry Keswick  £50,000
3. Hampden Insurance Holdings, Hampden House  £29,400
4. Windsor Partners Ltd, 71 Fenchurch Street  £25,000

Sectors outside the City

Industry £913,410.60
1. JCB Research, Lakeside Works £300,000
2. Rainham Steel Co Ltd, Devonshire House £115,500
3. Tompkins UK Ltd, Danesmore House £76,700
4. William Cook Holdings Ltd, Parkway Avenue £65,647.10
5. J & H Sales (International) Ltd, Finance House £64,400

Automotive, Aviation and Transport £689,257.19
1. Michael Bishop  £335000
2.  International Motors Ltd  £118,457
3.  David C Ord £68,600
4.  Dennis Keech  £58,000
5.  Thomas R Scott  £50,000

Real Estate £617,665.55
1. IM Properties plc £69,401.50
2. Debbie S Fiorentino £64,329.25
3. CC Property Company Ltd £63,500
4. Realreed Ltd £53,137.60
5. Thomas F Harrison £53,012.84

Retail £551,100
1. Nicholas D Jenkins £102,000
2. David Whelan £100,000.
3. Bestway Cash & Carry Ltd, 2 Abbey Road £61,000
4. Simon Wolfson £53,600
5=. Babyway International Limited, Babyway House £50,000
5=. Catherine C Baxendale £50,000
5=. Julian Richer £50,000

Creative Media and Arts £271,166.77
1. Universal Music Operations Ltd £80,000
2. Christopher Ingram £50,000
3. Julian Kitchener-Fellowes £40,000
4. Charles Caminada £27,800
5. Michael Batt £20,000

Energy £252,600
1. Ayman Asfari £79,200
2. Ian R Taylor £65,600
3. Jeremy B Asher £52,300
4. Abdul-Majid Jafar £25,000
5. Scottish Power UK Plc £14,000

Construction  £224,641.65
1=. Wates Group Services Ltd  £50,000
1=.  Leonard J Nike  £50,000
1=.  Aggregate Industries UK Ltd £50,000
4.   Keltbray Ltd £24,500
5.   Robert M Kirkland  £12,642.65

Leisure £220,195                   
1. Edward Wray £59,600
2. Lord Dolar Popat  £45,600
3. The A & S Leisure Group Ltd £25,000
4. Sandhya Popat  £22,000
5. Annabel’s (Berkeley Square) Ltd, £20,000

Services  £205,000 
1=. Richard D Harpin  £50,000
1=. John A Frieda  £50,000
3. Rajasundram Seinthan  £45,000
4=. Tiziana Cantoni  £25,000
4=.  Mark J Page £25,000

Technology £143,550
1. Anthony N Bickford £50,000
2. British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce Ltd £27,000
3. Microsoft Ltd £18,750
4. Jeremy J Oates £16,000
5=. John Maxted £10000
5=. Resilient Networks Plc £10000

Lobbying and PR (including City lobbyists) £62,800
1. Hanover Communications International Ltd £13,500
2=. Euro RSCG Apex Communications Ltd, c/o Havas Shared Services Ltd £11,900
2=. Bell Pottinger Communications Ltd £11,900
4. EUK Consulting Ltd, 176 Franciscan Road £9,000
5. Huntsworth Plc £8,500

Pharmaceuticals £58,500
1. Lord Ballyedmond, owner Norbrook Pharmaceuticals £50,000
2. Norbrook Laboratories Ltd, Station Works £8,500

Health £37,250
1. Nadey Hakim £10,000
2. Abdool R Ebrahimkhan £9,500
3. Churchill Retirement (Group) Ltd £9,250
4. HCA International Ltd £8,500

Political £28,000
1=. Chris Hudson £10,000
1=. Edna Davies £10,000
3. Graham Smith £5,000
4. The Association of Conservative Clubs Ltd £3,000

Agriculture £27,250
1. Malcolm Scott £16,000
2. Alexander Inglis and Son Ltd £8,500
3. Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates £2,750

Education £26,000
1. Lifetime Training Group Ltd, £26,000