Bankers, climate change sceptics, and Brexiteers: The donors funding Boris Johnson's campaign for prime minister
- Boris Johnson remains the favourite to replace Theresa May as British prime minister.
- His leadership campaign is funded by donations from bankers, climate change sceptics, companies that have worked closely with the government, and donors who have links to offshore tax havens.
- Here is the full list of donors financing his campaign.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.
LONDON - Boris Johnson is on course to become Britain's next prime minister when Conservative party members choose their leader later this month.
The 160,000-strong group of mostly fervently pro-Brexit Conservative Party members overwhelmingly prefer Johnson to his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt, according to recent polls.
So who is funding Johnson's campaign?
Well, according to the official parliamentary register, he has been backed by donations from bankers, financiers who have links to offshore tax havens, and others who belong to influential climate sceptic groups.
Here is the full list of donors to Johnson's campaign, ranked in ascending order by the size of the overall amount they have contributed.
RTC Education — £10,000 (R178,000)
RTC Education, an apprenticeship provider, donated £10,000 (R178,000) to both Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson's campaign.
Lynton Crosby's CTF Partners — £20,000 (R356,000) loan and £3,000 (R53,000) donation
Election guru Lynton Crosby masterminded Johnson's two successful London mayoral bids. He is not an official part of Johnson's current leadership campaign but the pair are said to speak on the phone regularly, with Crosby providing advice on strategy. Crosby's business partner Mark Fullbrook is also helping run Johnson's campaign.
CTF Partners, the firm Crosby and Fullbrook cofounded with Mark Textor, provided a donation of £3,000 for "office and staffing costs" in December 2018, as well as an interest-free loan of £20,000 (R356,000) in the same month. The company has been involved in a number of controversial campaigns around the world, including one to undermine the upcoming Qatar World Cup,
Graham Robeson — £10,000 (R178,000)
Johnson took a further £10,000 (R178,000) in May from Graham Robeson, who is the director of multiple companies owned by millionaire banker David Rowlands. Those companies are owned by Rowlands through a company incorporated in British Virgin Islands, a well-known tax haven and British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, Buzzfeed News reported.
David Lilley — £15,000 (R267,000)
Johnson accepted a £15,000 (R267,000) donation from financier David Lilley in May this year. Lilley previously ran a fund which invested in metal trading with Michael Farmer, the former Conservative Party treasurer. Lilley was also a major donor to Vote Leave, the official Brexit campaign vehicle.
First Corporate Shipping — £25,000 (R444,000)
First Corporate Shipping, a shipping company, trades under the name Bristol Port. The firm is co-owned by Conservative Party donors Terence Mordaunt and Sir David Ord.
Mordaunt is a director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, an arm of Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is a climate change sceptic group. The group has been accused by campaign site DeSmog of being "the UK's main climate science denial campaign group." DeSmog said it "gives a platform to fringe climate science deniers, and gets credibility within the political world through its high-profile Westminster connections."
The group claims to be open-minded on whether man-made climate change exists but says it is "deeply concerned about the costs and other implications" of policies designed to tackle and prepare for it.
Johnson has dabbled with climate change scepticism in recent years, repeatedly citing the noted sceptic (and brother of Labour party leader) Piers Corbyn in his Telegraph columns, but has claimed recently that he does accept that man made climate change exists.
Jeremy Hunt also received a donation of £25,000 (R444,000) from FCS.
Johan Christofferson — £36,000 (R640,000)
Johan Christofferson, one of Johnson's largest donors in 2019, is a hedge fund manager who is known for his love of fox hunting.
He is a partner in Christofferson, Robb & Co. He is also the former master of a hunt in the Isle of Wight. This poses potential problems for Johnson who has recently started to pitch himself as an environmentally-conscious Conservative concerned with animal rights, reportedly due to the advice of his partner Carrie Symonds.
Christofferson provided Johnson's campaign with £20,000 (R356,000) in January and £16,000 (R285,000) in March.
Anthony Bamford & JCB - £61,000 (R1 million)
Anthony Bamford is the multimillionaire founder of JCB, a firm which produces construction and agriculture equipment and is best known for its bright yellow diggers.
The company has worked closely with the UK government in recent years and has donated to a number of Conservative politicians.
Bamford donated £20,000 (R356,000) personally to Johnson's campaign as well as a further £41,000 (R729,000) through his business.
Earlier this year, the firm paid Johnson £10,000 (R178,000) three days before he gave a speech in which he repeatedly praised the company.
In his speech, Johnson said that "nothing and no one will stop [JCB's] spread" and called on politicians to "emulate the spirit of JCB".
Speaking to the Sun newspaper earlier in June, Bamford said that "Boris has what it takes to be a remarkable Prime Minister at a pivotal moment in our history.
"He'll get Brexit over the line. He'll keep old-fashioned socialism out of No. 10 - and hold back that particular threat to our prosperity."
Jon Wood — £75,000 (R1.3 million)
Johnson has received two donations totalling £75,000 (R1.3 million) from millionaire financier Jon Wood, the director of Aedos Fund Management (Bermuda) Ltd. Aedos is the new name of SRM Advisers, the hedge fund Wood founded and moved to the UK from Monaco in 2009.
The donations, one made in October 2018 and the second in May this year, included £50,000 (R889,000) to cover "office and staffing costs."
Wood blamed the Labour Party for the 2008 financial crisis and donated £500,000 (R8.8 million) to the Conservatives under David Cameron in 2010 in order to "get the country out of the dreadful mess that the Labour Party left it in."
Wood was reportedly nicknamed "Keyser Soze" by his colleagues in the City of London, after the mysterious crime lord in the film "The Usual Suspects." He was also once described by a judge as a "very hard and calculating man" due to his role in a failed litigation against two retail entrepreneurs.
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