“A major investor in Wonga, a banker and two billionaire hedge fund managers head a list of Conservative donors in the final set of election watchdog data released before Thursday’s general election. The Tories raised £1.16m in the final full week of campaigning, beating Labour by just over £69,000, the Electoral Commission disclosed on Wednesday.
Adrian Beecroft, the former government adviser and investor in payday lender Wonga, gave £50,000 in the week to 6 June. In 2012, he wrote the Beecroft report for David Cameron, which called for changes to make it easier for businesses to sack employees.
The hedge fund millionaire Reade Griffith also gave the Conservatives £50,000. In 2013, Griffith, who founded Polygon Investment Partners, was ordered to pay more than £800,000 to Kensington and Chelsea council for planning permission to build an “iceberg” basement under his house. Griffith and his wife had applied for permission to build a swimming pool and media area in a two-storey basement. The money was supposed to contribute to affordable housing elsewhere in the borough.
The billionaire hedge fund manager Sir Michael Hintze has given £250,000, making him the joint top individual donor in this particular week. Before the last general election, he gave the party their single biggest donation in six years – £1.5m.
Ehud Sheleg, an Israeli-born businessman now based in the West Midlands, has also given £250,000. He is the director of the Halcyon Gallery on Bond Street, which recently exhibited a collection of Bob Dylan’s artworks. Arne Groes, an executive at the London headquarters of French bank BNP Paribas, has given £100,000, as has Keith Bradshaw, a Birmingham-based businessman.
Labour has received £1.046m in the final full week of the campaign. Unite, the union, is the biggest donor, with gifts of £528,000, followed by the Communication Workers’ Union, with just over £320,000.
The Lib Dems received just over £103,000, most of which came from public funds. The Green Party received £10,000, around half the amount received by the Women’s Equality Party. Ukip received no donation of more than £7,500.
The Conservatives raised more than 10 times as much as Labour two weeks ago, partly thanks to a donation of over £1m from the theatre producer behind The Book of Mormon and The Phantom of the Opera. John Gore, whose company has produced a string of hit musicals, gave £1.05m as part of the £3.77m received by the Conservatives in the third week of the election campaign. In the same period, Labour received only £331,499.
Labour has concentrated on raising small sums from its members, most of which will not be included in these figures, sources said.
By law, political parties standing candidates at the general election must submit details of any donations and loans of more than £7,500, as part of weekly reports to the Electoral Commission.”