Liz Truss raised £500,000 for bid to be leader, register of interests reveals

Liz Truss was given more than £500,000 for her leadership campaign, with about half of it coming from donors linked to hedge fund bosses, venture capitalists and other City financiers.

Rowena Mason www.theguardian.com 

The prime minister, who has made a virtue of being pro-business and cutting taxes, saw a further round of donations declared on the register of MPs’ interests on Wednesday.

Since she was chosen by party members last month, Truss and her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, have embarked on a programme of deregulation, promising reform to financial services regulation and looser planning rules.

More than £230,000 of her funding has come from people linked to the world of finance, while £200,000 came from those linked to the property and construction sectors.

The second tranche of donations takes the amount she has received to more than £500,000 – way above the campaign spending limit of £300,000.

The donations included £50,000 from Graham Edwards, the millionaire cofounder of Telereal Trillium, a property investment firm owning 6,000 commercial sites.

He is also on the board of the rightwing thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies, and wrote a paper for it two years ago proposing long-term fixed rate mortgages to first-time buyers to help them deal with high interest rates.

Truss was also given £5,000 by Lord Vinson, a Tory peer who contributed to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the climate science-denying thinktank.

The largest single sum, declared last month, came from Fitriani Hay – the wife of James Hay, who has a construction and luxury goods empire and is a former BP executive. She gifted Truss £100,000.

Other supporters included the Tory peer Greville Howard, whose Westminster townhouse was used by her campaign team as a headquarters.

Michael Spencer, founder of the interdealer broker Icap, also gifted £25,000 to Truss at the start of August, one week after giving the same sum to Sunak and two weeks after doing the same for another failed candidate, Penny Mordaunt.

Truss accepted £20,000 from Jon Moynihan, a former prominent member of the Vote Leave campaign who has called for the Electoral Commission to be abolished.

He has also written paper for the Institute of Economic Affairs, a rightwing thinktank, called “Removing the barriers to enterprise”.

This argued for regulators to be trained to favour “light-touch” approaches, for fewer people to be required to be “auto-enrolled” into pensions and to reduce employer auto-enrolment contributions to zero.

She also accepted £10,000 donated by a smoked salmon firm run by the former Brexit party MEP Lance Forman.

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