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of the wealthy, but there are direct links with the Conservative Party. Ever heard of these people?
THE RICH LIST
• Aidan Heavey, chief executive of Tullow Oil, 679 on the Rich List
with a fortune of £106m, gave the Tories £45,000.
• Shipping magnate Alan Bekhor, at 650 on the list with £110m, gave
a total of £5,000.
• Private equity boss Jeremy Isaacs, at 751 with £95m, gave £3,000.
• Mick Davis, head of mining company Xstrata, at 871 with £80m,
• Nick Leslau, at 371 with £185m, handed over £2,000.
• Hilda Worth, wife of fashion boss Marc Worth, at 751 on the list
with £95m, gave £3,500.
• Henry Lumley, investment chief, at 645 with £112m, gave £7,500.
• Property tycoon John Dunsdon, at 497 with £144m, gave £5,000.
And these are just the small fry! The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has uncovered the big fish.
Last year, hedge fund bosses gave a total of £1,384,070. Among them, Michael S Farmer (£316,000), Stanley Fink (£218,700) and Andrew E Law (£101,000).
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
PETER CRUDDAS Off ered wealthy backers access to David Cameron.
Financiers dug deep, too, providing
£1,305.806. The biggest single donation was £1,160,936.52 (why the 52p?) from David Rowland, a publicity-shy property developer and former tax exile. He was appointed party treasurer, but resigned before he was due to take up the post. Next biggest were £130,000 from The Funding Corporation and £50,000 from Vincos Ltd.
Fund and asset managers handed over £1,158,000, bankers gave £607,771 and private equity bosses, £645,400. City traders and dealers came up with £473,253. The financial services sector gave £193,157, and insurance stumped up £189,400.
As GMB’s political of icer Maria Ludkin points out, these enormous figures confirm what we all thought we knew – that the Tory party is the political wing of the rich and the elite, and in parliament they do as they are told by their wealthy funders.
DAVID ROWLAND Property developer and former tax exile.
“The cuts in income tax from 50p to 45p for those on £150,000 or more a year while the economy is in recession and the public finances in deficit shows the extent to which the rich and the elite call the shots,” she says. Once, Tory donors could shelter behind anonymity, but Harold Wilson’s Labour government forced companies to disclose how much of their shareholders’ money was going to the Conservatives, and the Blair-Brown governments set up an independent Electoral Commission to which all party donations must be declared – including those from private individuals.
These reforms have exposed the hitherto- faceless rich people who have invested
millions in the future political shape of our country. So now we know that Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey and winner of an Oscar for the screenplay of Gosford Park, gave £40,000 to the Tories, while David Whelan, owner of fitness clubs and Wigan Athletic, gave £100,000. Composer Mike Batt, who wrote the theme to Watership Down and the classic lyrics, “Remember You’re A Womble”, donates “in kind” through music but he also contributed £20,000. Annabel’s night club in London’s West End, visited by celebrities as varied as Frank Sinatra and David Blunkett, also handed over £20,000. Star hairdresser John Frieda was even more generous, with a £50,000 contribution, while JCB Research, a subsidiary of the mechanical digger empire whose chairman Sir Anthony Bamford was nominated for a peerage by David Cameron (later withdrawn), gave £300,000.
“The Tory party is the political wing of the rich, and in parliament they do as they are told.”
w the money trail, said Woodward and Bernstein, the investigative journalists whose exposés brought down corrupt US president Richard Nixon. Do that with the Tories, and it leads all the way back to the rich. By contrast, Labour is financed by the “workers’ pennies”, small donations that build into substantial subscription income. Now David
Cameron and his wealthy backers want to end
this historic link, by “capping” individual
£50,000, or even less. This would
hit their own donors – though they’d
find a way round it – but it would be catastrophic for Labour – and for democracy as we know it.
MICHAEL GOVE The Tories’ ideological guru picked up £647,544. www.gmb.org.uk
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