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The biggest fifty cash donors to the Conservative Party over the last ten years

Tim Montgomerie

Here are the top 20 donor groups to the Conservative Party for the the last decade:

  1. Irvine Laidlaw: £6.09m
  2. Sir Paul Getty: £5.00m
  3. Stuart Wheeler: £3.93m
  4. The Bamford family: £3.90m
  5. Michael Spencer: £3.83m
  6. Robert Edmiston: £3.27m
  7. David and Jonathan Rowland: £3.02m
  8. Michael Farmer: £2.93m
  9. National Conservative Draws: £2.44m
  10. The Midlands Industrial Council: £2.14m
  11. Stanley Fink: £2.00m
  12. Michael Ashcroft: £1.97m
  13. Scottish Business Groups: £1.78m
  14. RF Trustee Co: £1.69m
  15. Leonard Steinberg: £1.52m
  16. George Magan: £1.49m
  17. Philip Harris: £1.45m
  18. Michael Hintze: £1.42m
  19. Henry Angest: £1.35m
  20. Malcolm Scott: £1.29m

Read the full list of fifty here. ConservativeHome thanks each and every one of them - some, sadly, have passed away.

The research was conducted by the London School of Economics. Their overall conclusion after totalling "the cash donations of some of the party’s biggest donors [and] those of the donors’ husbands, wives, family members, companies and business partners which we have been able to identify" is:

"£72 million – over half of the party’s declared cash donation income – has been donated to the Conservative party from just 50 such ‘donor groups’ over the course of a decade. Perhaps more strikingly, £45.5 million has been sourced from the ‘top 15’ donor groups – amounting to just under one-third (31.9 per cent) of all Conservative Party donation income from January 2001 to June 2010."

My understanding is that during the last few years the party's funding base has been diversified considerably with a large increase in people giving £50,000 or less. The LSE study covers much of the pre-Cameron period when the party was more dependent on a narrower number of big donors.

Hopefully the LSE will soon be turning to Ed Miliband's party where large trade unions account for a more dominant (80%) - and increasing - share of Labour funds.

(Hat-tip to the New Statesman for spotting the LSE research).


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