Has Lord Ashcroft stopped giving to the Conservative Party?
By Tim Montgomerie
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ConHome's owner Lord Ashcroft has been in the news over the weekend. The Sunday Times reported (£) that the former party treasurer and close friend of William Hague "has told friends he has given enough money and is unwilling to devote further resources to securing an overall majority in 2015." Lord Ashcroft will speak for himself but my understanding is that it's no secret that he thinks the next election represents an uphill struggle for our party - people only need to read the commentaries on his opinion polling. It's also true, however, that he hasn't ruled out giving to the party's central funds. What, I suspect (I don't know), is more likely is that he'll support individual candidates in individual seats, especially where those candidates have produced the kind of battleplans that he encouraged them to have when he ran the party's target seats operation.
If he has decided to stop giving to the party it won't be a huge blow to Lord Feldman's fundraising. Party funding is more diversely based than at the start of David Cameron's leadership and this chart from the Spectator captures the fact that his Lordship has not been making big donations for some time.
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