Mark – my words

Annotated No2AV donor list

So the No to AV campaign did after all publish a list of donors. I must say I was surprised that they did so.  I was expecting that they’d want to conceal who has been funding them, because the list was always likely to consist of “the usual suspects” – the “the great and the good”, the peerage and landed gentry, the millionaires, the billionaires and the assorted City types who traditionally bankroll right-wing causes. And with few exceptions, this has proved to be the case – note a very strong overlap with this list of Conservative party donors.

Below for your amusement is the No campaign’s top donors list, annotated with such publically available information as I was able to quickly collect on the forty one individuals and organizations who made donations of £10,000 and above.

Peter Cruddas £400,000

Founder of CMC Markets, said to be the richest man in the City. Donated around £200,000 to the Conservative party in 2009. His wife Fiona is also a dedicated Conservative fundraiser.

Jonathan Wood £100,000

Jonathan Wood is a British hedge fund manager and regular donor to the UK Conservative Party. He is the founder of the hedge fund SRM Global. He donated £500,000 to the Conservative Party in 2010.

Michael Davis £100,000

Can’t positively identify this donor. There’s a Michael Davis who is Director of Strategy and Performance at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Chair of Governors at Leicester College and Chairman of Lastolite. There’s a Canadian Michael Davis, CEO of the Responsive Marketing Group (RMG), a telemarketing corporation that raises money for many of Canada’s biggest charities. And of course there’s Conservative MP a leadership challenger David Michael Davis.

Lord (John) Sainsbury £100,000

Sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Conservative Party.

Michael Farmer £100,000

Hedge fund founder who donated £325,000 to the Conservatives between January and March 2010, and £262,800 between April and June last year.

John Caudwell £75,000

An English businessman who has made most of his money in the mobile phone business (Phones4U). In 2005, the Sunday Times estimated Caudwell’s wealth at £1,280 million   I can’t find any traces of political donations.

Lord (Philip) Harris £75,000

Conservative member of the House of Lords and businessman. Carpetright.

Lord (Graham) Kirkham £75,000

Executive Chairman of DFS Furniture Company Ltd, Kirkham is a strong political and financial supporter of the Conservative Party, and is one of South Yorkshire’s richest men, with a personal fortune estimated at £315m.

FIL Investment Management Ltd £50,000

Fidelity – city brokerage company.

Mark Samworth £50,000

Director, Samworth Brothers, Food company. Slogan “People, Quality and Profit”

James Lyle £50,000

Financier, Hedge Fund manager. Has donated upwards of £500,000 to Conservatives.

Sir Donald Gosling £50,000

Co-founder of National Car Parks. On ST Rich List, worth ~£400M. Conservative donor.

John Spurling £50,000

Pet insurance magnate PetPartners.  Donated to Iain Duncan Smith’s leadership campaign, and to Michael Ancram MP.

The Funding Corporation Limited £50,000

A company that “specialises in finding appropriate funding solutions to businesses and individuals.” “The Funding Corporation doesn’t operate under the same constraints as conventional funding organisations.”   Appears to be indirectly owned/directed by the evangelical Christian millionaire Bob Edmiston.  Some question mark over the ethical standards of the Funding Corporation?

IPGL Limited £50,000

A private holding company which invests in world class financial services businesses.  Chief Executive Michael Spencer was until recently treasurer and member of the board of the Conservative Party.

Edwin Healey £50,000

Eddie Healey and his brother Malcolm built up the Hygena kitchen empire and in 2008 were listed as having a joint fortune of £1.9Bn. Eddie was the force behind Sheffield Meadowhall development. In 1995, Eddie Healey’s property group Stadium City was one of the leading donors to the Conservative party.

David Mayhew £30,000

Old Etonian Chairman of Cazenove,”the Queen’s stockbroker”.

Christopher Rokos £30,000

“One of the Conservatives’ city backers, Christopher Rokos, a millionaire fund manager, gave [The Conservatives] £100,850…”

Lord (Stanley) Fink £28,000

Hedge fund manager, co-treasurer of Conservative party.

Andrew Sells £25,000

Chairman, The Garden Centre Group (Wyevale). Co-treasurer of No2AV. Known Tory donor.

Lord (Charles G) Leach £25,000

Conservative life peer. Rodney, not Charles (there is no Lord Charles Leach).

Lord (Simon) Wolfson £25,000

Conservative Life Peer. Chief Executive, Next Retail.

Killik & Co LLP £25,000

Asset Management company. / Chief Executive Paul Killik, Matthew Orr.

JC Bamford Excavators Ltd £25,000

Longstanding track record of donations to Conservative party.

Company director Mark Bamford is a member of the board of The Conservative Party Foundation, established to support the Conservative Party financially in the long-term.

JCB tycoon Sir Anthony Bamford is a staunch Tory supporter. Prime minister David Cameron recommended Bamford for a peerage in 2010. This, however, was turned down by the House of Lords authorities due to concerns regarding Bamford’s taxes. He is one of the biggest donors to the Conservative Party.

Ivor Braka £25,000

Art dealer. Oundle School & Pembroke College Oxford. Owns Gunton Hall in Norfolk. In Q42009, Braka donated £100,000 to Conservatives.

Lord (David) Wolfson £25,000

Conservative Life Peer. Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet and Chief of Staff of the Political Office, 10 Downing Street, between 1979 and 1985.

Jeremy Hosking £25,000

British businessman, co-founder and investment portfolio manager for private investment fund Marathon. Has 25% share holding in Crystal Palace F.C.. Hosking was ranked number 333 on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2009, with a value of £170M  In December 2009, Hosking donated £30,000 for funding research support, to Conservative MP David Davis.  In Q42009, Hosking donated £125,000 to Conservatives.

John Nash £25,000

Chairman of Care UK, one of UK’s largest private health companies. Wife Caroline is a regular Tory donor, who together with her husband, has given a further £107,000 since 2006.

Arbuthnot Banking Group plc £20,000

Chairman & Chief Executive Henry Angest has funnelled almost £7m to the Tories in loans and donations over the past nine years.

Nicholas Jenkins £20,000

Can’t postively identify. Possibly Nick Jenkins, ex-commodities trader and millionaire founder of Moonpig.com “I had the privilege of a good education and success seemed like a very reasonable aspiration” No record of Conservative donation though.

Hugh Sloane £15,000

Number 291 in The Sunday Times rich list 2009. One of the founders of hedge fund Sloane Robinson. Sloane’s compensation level exceeds even the reported £50 Million “bonus” paid to a Goldman Sachs director and the huge compensation package of Roger Jenkins, leader of Barclays Capital. Sloane Robinson has a Cayman Islands base. Sloane donated >£100,000 to Conservatives in 2008

David Ord £10,000

Managing Director of the Bristol Port Company and was the Non-Executive Chairman of MITIE Group plc from 2003-2008. He has been the Conservative Party‘s S.W. Regional Treasurer since 1999. He joined the Conservative Foundation‘s Board in February 2011.  “Another party donor is David Ord, the managing director of the Bristol Port Company, Britain’s largest privately owned ports company, and a director of Open Europe, the euro-sceptic think-tank”

Andrew Brannon £10,000

Possibly refers to the Chairman, Mortlake & Barnes Conservative Party. Has donated on at least 2 occasions to Alan Duncan MP.

William Cook Holdings Ltd £10,000

Chairman Andrew Cook runs three steel plants in the Sheffield area and has donated almost £750,000 to the Tories. Mr Cook’s support for the Tories has included flying Mr Cameron around Britain on 27 separate private plane journeys at a cost of £54,000.

Peter Hargreaves £10,000

Founder and Chief Executive of broker and investment adviser Hargreaves Lansdown, Mr Hargreaves was ranked No 111 in The Sunday Times Rich List, with a personal fortune put at £570 million.   Supporter of Thatcher, critical of Cameron and Con-Dem coalition.

Rhoderick Swire £10,000

Director of investment trust Pantheon International Participations PLC. Has donated to Conservative MP Philip Dunne

Charles Caminada £10,000

“Charlie” Caminada is Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Ludorum Plc, which aims to exploit technological means of managing IP rights. Has previously donated to Andrew Mitchell MP (Conservative, Sutton Coldfield).

Naguib Kheraj £10,000

Former chief executive of JP Morgan Cazenove and one-time global head of investment banking at Barclays Capital. Briefly in Jan/Feb 2011, Chief Executive of Lazard International, he now intends to concentrate on philanthropic activities. Known Conservative party donor.

GMB Union £10,000

Probably not a Conservative party donor.

Richard Hoare £10,000

deputy-Chairman of the private bank C Hoare & Co. Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire. Gave £55,000 to Conservatives in 3Q2010  His family donated Stourhead to the National Trust.

Robin Fleming £10,000

Has donated to David Cameron, Conservative leader.  The Fleming banking family cashed in a fortune of £1.7bn when they sold out to Chase Manhattan in 2000.


9 responses to “Annotated No2AV donor list

  1. Ryan 2011-04-13 at 12:20

    Done some research on Michael Davis. I think it may be Mick Davis.. chief executive of mining firm Xstrata plc, supporter of the Conservatives N.I plans. He’s also chairman of Jewish charity UJIA and member of the Jewish Leadership Council, whose members have donated to the Tory party and have advised the government on its Big Society plans.

    This could be very wrong though…

  2. Mark Wadsworth 2011-04-13 at 21:12

    Awesome, excellent work. GMB comment made me giggle.

    Here via Neil Harding’s.

  3. fifthdecade 2011-04-21 at 01:50

    FIL Investment Management Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, the American Fund Management company. What’s an American company doing messing with our voting system?

  4. Tim Ireland 2011-04-21 at 11:31

    Hi Mark. You may be interested in a little something I’ve done with your data:



  5. poplarmark 2011-04-24 at 11:34

    The Labour Yes campaign have published an expanded version (PDF) of this list. They estimate that 99% of No2AV funding comes from donors with a track record of contributing to Conservative Party and causes.

    We should ask ourselves what these extremely rich people believe they will gain from preserving the electoral status quo, because they surely didn’t get to be that rich without making extremely careful investment decisions…

    • Mark 2011-04-26 at 15:57

      Ah… the smear starts here. Let’s try this one for size. The Yes campagin is funded by the ERS, which owns the ERSL, which makes money from running elections. What will ERS gain from a switch to AV? Chris Huhne insisted that AV does not cost more, but Yes campaign internal document says a switch to AV gives ERSL “increased business opportunity” So which is it??

      You may also be interested to know that pamphlets for the Yes campaign are also printed by ERS – more murky relationship that Yes campaigners refuses to discuss!

      • poplarmark 2011-04-26 at 21:53

        Don’t be absurd. You can’t have read my blog post from yesterday about the so-called “conflict of interest” with the ERS.

        And maybe you missed it, but there is a big fat clue in the name. ERS, the Electoral Reform Society, exists in order to campaign for electoral reform. That is the reason it was founded, and that is what it has been seeking to achieve for over 100 years. Electoral reform is quite simply the raison d’être of the ERS. It’s what it’s there to do.

        There cannot possibly be a conflict of interest in an entirely legal organization being engaged in the very activities it was established to perform.

        Would you complain if British Airways was discovered to be running a fleet of aircraft? Is there something fundamentally wrong about the way that the Tate Gallery keeps putting works of art on display? Or perhaps you’d like to criticise the Alzheimer’s Society for funding research into dementia?

        If the ERS did not campaign for electoral reform, there would be grounds for complaint.

  6. Pingback: Our Parliament has been sold, but this Thursday we can take it back. (Article for Ohdearism, unedited, with linked sources) | Dicky Moore

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