Billionaires and developers rush to fill Tory election coffers

“The Conservatives received a huge boost in donations in the three months before Theresa May called a surprise general election, according to figures published by the Electoral Commission.

The party received £5.46m from January to March this year, more than twice the £2.65m given to Labour.

By the time the prime minister called the election on 18 April, the Tories had received £1.85m more in donations during the first quarter of the year than it had in the last three months of 2016.

The biggest individual donation came from the Conservative party treasurer, Michael Davis, who gave the party £317,000. The South African-born former mining executive is overseeing the party’s fundraising efforts, which have targeted wealthy businesspeople and city figures.

Last week, it emerged that the Conservatives had raised £1.5m more than Labour in the first week of the general election campaign, receiving more than £4.1m while Labour raised just over £2.7m.

The Conservatives are expected to get close to the £19m maximum they are permitted to spend during an election campaign. Labour is expecting to spend less than the Tories, amid a drive for donations from its 500,000 members. …

Other major donations to the Conservatives include £55,000 from the Rigby Group, which owns exclusive hotels including Bovey Castle in Devon, where the Olympic diver Tom Daley recently celebrated his wedding.

A company called Anglesource, run by the billionaire Arora brothers, also gave £50,000.

A property firm owned by a Palestinian-born businessman has given £65,000 to the Conservatives this year. CC Property UK is owned by Said Khoury, a billionaire who also owns CCC, the largest construction firm in the Middle East.

Other major donations came from Leopold Noe, the property developer, who gave the Conservatives £130,000. The hedge-fund manager John Armitage gave £125,000.

JS Bloor (Services), linked to the property tycoon John Bloor, gave £120,000. JS Bloor and Armitage also made donations in the first week of the election campaign, which are subject to different reporting rules.

According to the Electoral Commission, the Tory party also has a credit facility of £5,554,000, while Labour has access to borrowing £113,000.”

Labour received £1.96m from trade unions, including £657,702 from Unite. Public funds are also listed for each party, which predominantly boost the totals for opposition parties. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/23/tories-5m-donations-boost-before-may-called-snap-general-election

2 thoughts on “Billionaires and developers rush to fill Tory election coffers

  1. It seems to me that there are a few key points to this:

    1. Tory Party gets donations from individuals each of which amount to more than most people will earn after tax in several years, possibly even a decade or more. Whilst most people supporters struggle to make ends meet, the Tory Party supporters who have benefitted from significant tax cuts in recent years seem to have large amounts of spare cash lying around that they feel will be in their interests to give to the Tory Party. Clearly the Tories are the party for the very rich minority (who can afford private everything) not really the party for working people who have to rely on public services for health, social care, education, transport etc.

    2. It appears that the election may not have been quite such a SNAP decision as the Tories said when they announced it – if “you follow the money”, the only conclusion is that the Tories were preparing for an election in the first quarter of 2017 and getting a massive lead on fundraising to get their propaganda out there. To me, democracy means that elections should be fair and that all parties (AND of course Independent Candidates) should have an equal opportunity to get their policies and views across, without their voices being drowned out by blanket advertising from one party funded by a few ultra rich individuals. So having a head-start on fundraising is IMO both UNFAIR and UNDEMOCRATIC.

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    • very true – this election has been in the planning fro some time- always follow the ‘Money’ but will it be a wake up call to Middle Classes that we have ha enough of this manipulation – from foreign funds- ? Russian ? Asian and whoever claims to now live here !

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