Super-rich gave millions to Tories in 2018

Of the £8.7m donated by the top 50 donors, £8.5m went to the Tories.

Picture of John Gore

The richest people in the UK gave millions of pounds to the Conservative Party in 2018.

Of the 50 top individual donors to political parties in 2018, 47 gave their money to the Tories according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Of the £8.7m donated by the top 50 donors, £8.5m went to the Conservative Party.

Just two (£175,000) opted for the Liberal Democrats, one for the Women’s Equality Party (£25,000) and none for Labour, the SNP or Plaid Cymru.

The Conservative Party’s biggest donor was John Gore, a theatre boss worth £1.5bn. He donated over £1.5m to the Tories and told The Sunday Times that fear of Jeremy Corbyn had led him to donate.

Another donor is Lord Farmer, a copper trade and hedge funder. Between him and his son George, they donated £114,000 to the party.

George Farmer is the chair of Turning Point UK – a right-wing, Trump-supporting group aimed at students.

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, whose campaign to be Mayor of London was accused of islamophobia, is also an important donor to the party, giving £39,550 in 2018.

According to the Sunday Times, Goldsmith has earned £10m in income and capital gains since 2010. His Brexiteer father James Goldsmith left the family £1.2bn when he died in 1997.

Several of those who have donated large sums to the party are now Conservative Lords including Lord Farmer, Lord Fink and Lord Edmiston.

Even former Labour Lord David Sainsbury, a former backer of the centrist Progress faction of the Labour Party, opted for the Conservatives over Labour. He gave the Scottish Tories £25,000.

The Labour Party is funded by its members and by trade unions. As of 2016, members were contributing around £16m in membership fees and supporters were donating around £18m.

Trade unions, who get their money from their members’ subscriptions, gave Labour around £6m in 2016.

Joe Lo is a freelance journalist and a reporter for Left Foot Forward.

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2 Responses to “Super-rich gave millions to Tories in 2018”

  1. NMac

    The corruption of our politics laid bare.

  2. Josie Fox

    Not listed in any formal records are the many conflicts of interest where Tory MPs are simultaneously executive board members or consultants to private sector firms and banks; well paid columnists for national newspapers or radio station phone in hosts, where the views of the mega rich are amplified ; landowners

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