Tories name their donors

THE TORIES this afternoon made public the identities of individuals who lent it nearly £16 million, following pressure from watchdog the Electoral Commission and in the wake of the “cash for ermine” gulfing the Labour Party.

By Graham Dines

THE TORIES this afternoon made public the identities of individuals who lent it nearly £16 million, following pressure from watchdog the Electoral Commission and in the wake of the “cash for ermine” gulfing the Labour Party.

However, the identities of other backers who made loans of around £5 million were kept secret after the party paid back the money. “We believe it would have been wrong for us to reveal the identities of lenders without their permission,” said party chairman Francis Maude.

“So we have been contacting lenders to seek their permission for us to make their names public. Today we are publishing a complete list of the individuals and organisations with whom we have loan arrangements, together with the amounts."

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“We are also writing to the Electoral Commission to confirm that we will share with them any relevant information or material. In the last few weeks a number of lenders have turned their loans into donations, and their names will appear in the relevant returns to the Electoral Commission.

“We have also repaid around £5 million to lenders who did not wish their names to be disclosed.”

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A statement from Mr Maude, published on the party's website and e-mailed to the media, gave the following details of the party's assets and financial dealings:

“Property assets increased to well over £30 million

“Nearly £8 million donations in the last quarter

“£16 million in loans from individual supporters, £15.65 million bank loan secured on the property, £4.7 million in loans from constituency Conservative Associations and the Association of Conservative Clubs.

“After over a year of negotiations, on March 29 we purchased the freehold of 32 Smith Square and 67 Tufton Street adjoining. In order to do this we have taken out a bank loan of £15.65 million. This purchase gives us greater control over how this property might be used, thereby significantly increasing its value. We believe the value of the two buildings combined would be in excess of £30m.

“Since David Cameron became Leader of the Party, we have seen a large increase in donations and more than 20,000 people have joined the Party. When we report our first quarter's donations to the Electoral Commission by the end of April we shall be reporting a total of nearly £8 million.

“These donations include the conversion of a loan of £2 million from IM Group, a company owned by Bob Edmiston. He was nominated for a peerage by the Conservative Party, when Michael Howard was the leader, and his loan notified to the House of Lords Appointments Commission. Mr Edmiston has been a long term supporter of the Party and has given many donations to a wide range of charities and voluntary organisations.

“Our return will include cash donations of £50,000 or more as follows (rounded and as of today):

Donations of £50,000 or more received January to March 2006

Michael Alen-Buckley £50,000; Sir Martyn Arbib £100,000; Lady Ashcroft £50,000; A N Bickford £50,000; Natalie Chester £50,000;

Cringle Corporation Ltd £270,000; Mr M S Farmer £50,000; Balance from D Cameron Fighting Fund £75,000; Stanley Fink £100,000; Flowidea Ltd £50,000; Roger Grubb £500,000; Peter Hall £ 100,000

Harris Ventures £210,000; Harris Ventures Ltd £50,000; Harris Ventures Ltd £50,000; Peter Harrison £260,000; A E Howard £50,000; IML Ltd £2,100,000; David Instance £200,000; IPGL Ltd £50,000

Jacksons Bournemouth Ltd £50,000; Mrs Tracy Levett £50,000

Lizon Properties £50,000; Midlands Industrial Council £100,000; Moorlake Properties Ltd £50,000; Philip Wilson Grain Ltd £210,000; G Pinto £100,000; R 20 Ltd £55,000; S & V Robertson £50,000; Paul Martin £50,000; Mrs A R Said £50,000.

Lord Sainsbury £50,000; Shore Capital Group Plc £50,000; Lord Steinberg £530,000; Michael Stone £100,000; Vincos Ltd £50,000 ; Western United Investment Co Ltd £100,000; Stuart Wheeler £50,000; Mr S A Wolfson £50,000

Total: £6,210,000

“We have no overdraft.

“We have confirmed to the Electoral Commission that all our loans are on commercial terms and therefore meet the requirements set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act. This has been confirmed by our lawyers, who have reviewed the loans.

“Our lenders, as of March 31 2006, amount to £16million as follows:

Henry Angest, Treasurer £550,000; Lord Ashcroft. Deputy Chairman & former Treasurer £3,600,000;

Dame Vivien Duffield £250,000; Johan Eliasch, Deputy Treasurer £2,600,000; Alan Lewis, former Trasurer £100,000; Cringle Corporation Ltd, £450,000; Graham Facks-Martin, Conservative councillor £50,000; Michael Hintze, £2,500,000; Lord Laidlaw, £3,500,000; Victoria, Lady de Rothschild, former Treasurer £1,000,000; Raymond Richards (deceased), £1,000,000; Lord Steinberg, former Treasurer £250,000; Charles Wigoder, £100,000.

Total : £15,950,000.

“In addition we have loans totalling £4.5 million from the constituency Conservative Associations, and £200,000 from the Association of Conservative Clubs.


“The total level of debt is significant, but securing the freehold of the 32 Smith Square and 67 Tufton Street has significantly increased our asset base. Furthermore, donations remain buoyant and most of our debt is long-term.

Background information on our lenders

“Henry Angest has been a Treasurer of the Conservative Party since 2000. He regularly gives to charities and other worthy causes.

“Lord Ashcroft is a former Treasurer and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. He is the founder and Chairman of the Trustees of Crimestoppers - the only UK charity dedicated to solving crimes. Since 1988, it has received over 800,000 calls and resulted in over 70,000 arrests and charges. Lord Ashcroft is currently Deputy Treasurer of the International Democratic Union and was formerly Belize's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He has been Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University since November 2001.

“Dame Vivien Duffield is the daughter of Sir Charles Clore, one of Britain's most generous post-war philanthropists. She is Chairman of the Clore Duffield Foundation, which has donated and pledged over £8 million to museums, education and the Arts since 1998. Dame Vivien is also a Founder and Life Patron of Eureka!, the Museum for Children in Halifax, and a Founding Trustee of the Jewish Community Centre for London. She was named Benefactor of the Year by the National Art Collections Fund in 1988, and was awarded a CBE in 1989 and a DBE in 2000. She has sat on several Appeal Committees and Development Boards for the NSPCC and Great Ormond Street Hospital. She is Chairman of the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and a Governor of the Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet School.

“Johan Eliasch has been a Deputy Treasurer of the Conservative Party since 2003. He has worked extensively with NGOs and charities. He is a member of the board at the Centre for Social Justice and President of the Global Strategy Forum. He sits of the Board of Advisors to the International Peace Foundation in Vienna and is a Patron of the Faculty of Economic Studies at Stockholm University. He was Chairman of the Duke of York NSPCC Challenge, and helped to raise over £2.3 million for the Full Stop campaign in 2000. He was also recently involved in the establishment of a 400,000-acre reserve in the Amazonian Rainforest in Brazil to help combat global climate change.

“Graham Facks-Martin is a retired farmer and Conservative Councillor.

“Michael Hintze has an extensive record of philanthropy. He is an International Patron of the Prince of Wales' Trust and sits of the International Council of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He is Chairman of the Finance Committee of St Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church in Battersea, and a Trustee of the Institute of Economic Affairs. Michael and his wife are supporters of Trinity Hospice, the Old Vic theatre and are Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums.

“Lord Laidlaw is one of Scotland's most generous philanthropists. He donated £1 million in November 2003 to establish the Laidlaw Youth Project, which supports vulnerable children and works with young people across Scotland - 42 projects have benefited from his support. He has also provided generous financial support to schools in both Scotland and England.

“Alan Lewis financed the start up of The Acorn Christian Healing Trust in 1985, and was appointed a Trustee of The Opportunity Trust in 1996, a charitable organisation set up to alleviate poverty in poorer countries. He has helped with fundraising for The Wildlife Trusts, a leading conservation organisation and has been awarded a Professorship at the European School of Management in Oxford, where he lecturers. He was Chairman of the CBI Initiative for Europe (1988-90) and was made a CBE in 1990.

“Lord Steinberg established the Steinberg Family Charitable Trust in 1995. This donates around £200,000 every year to around a hundred charities, including a considerable number of Jewish charities. The Trust gives generous contributions to the Cancer Research Fund, Downs Syndrome Association, the Salvation Army and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Lord Steinberg is President of the Manchester Jewish Federation, and the Family Trust donates around £25,000 per year to hardship cases in the Manchester area.

“Victoria, Lady de Rothschild was a Treasurer of the Conservative Party from 2001 until 2006.

Charles Wigoder is Chief Executive of Telecom Plus, and also serves as a Governor of the North London Collegiate School.”

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