Nearly three quarters of top Tory donors linked to tax havens

David Cameron offshore

At least 14 of the Tories’ top 20 donors can be linked to companies based in tax havensPolitical Scrapbook can reveal. After spilling the beans on the Bermuda-based hedge funds run by their top funder Michael Farmer yesterday, we’ve trawled records filed with regulators to build up a broader picture of Tory offshore links.

But will David Cameron — who has been on the offensive over tax  — ask his donors whether these arrangements are used for avoidance? The figures given below show the total donated in the past 12 months:

#1 Michael Farmer (£818,000) — See our story from yesterday. And bring sunscreen.

#2 Michael Davis (£509,000) — “Mick the miner” trousered £75m when his Xstrata mining company was sold this year. While the company’s registered office is in London, it is headquartered in the Swiss tax haven of Zug. The business which bought out Xstrata, Glencore, is not only based in Zug but also faces allegations of using suspect insurance practices to avoid tax.

#4 David Rowland (£438,000) — A former Conservative Party treasurer, David moved from the tax haven of Guernsey to the UK specifically so he could donate to the Tories.

#6 James Lupton (£255,000) — The current Tory co-treasurer works for Greenhill, through which he is a partner in Greenhill & Co. International LLP alongside the company’s vehicle based in the Cayman Islands. Lupton also holds a stake in Vestra Wealth, which offers its clients advice on “tax-planning vehicles”.

#7 Andrew Law (£247,000) — The chairman and CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds, Caxton Associates. One of its main investment vehicles is Caxton International, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

#8 Stanley Fink (£228,000) — The “godfather of the UK hedge fund industry”, whose Man Group has two principal subsidiaries in Switzerland. The majority of its subsidiaries operate from tax havens.

#9 JCB Research (£187,500) — JCB is owned by digger magnate Anthony Bamford (who had a peerage blocked in 2010 after the taxman raised apparent concerns). This most British of manufacturers is actually controlled by a holding company based in the HagueTransmissions & Engineering Services Netherlands Bv.

#11 Flowidea Ltd (£144,950) — Controlled by Henry Angest, a critic of the UK’s “punitive tax system”, which may have something to do with the fact that its parent companies seem to be based in Jersey and the Bahamas.

#12 Lycamobile UK (£119,000) — Funded by T-Mobile subsidiaries in the Netherlands.

#13 IPGL (£105,000) — Private equity company which structures investments in British firms via intermediaries (such as Incap Finance and Incap Gaming) in the Netherlands.

#14 Adrian Beecroft (£101,000) — Private equity boss boss known for his involvement with Dawn Capital and Apax Partners, the latter of which advised the Guardian to use an offshore vehicle based in the Caymans for the purchase of magazine titles.

#16 Chris Rokos (£99,000) — Co-founder of Europe’s second largest hedge fund, Brevan Howard, whose subsidiaries include Brevan Howard Offshore, based in the Caymans.

#19 Mark Samworth (£90,000) — This support from the boss of food firm Ginster’s follows on from previous hand-outs, notably the £100,000 donated after Osborne hit his rivals with a “pasty tax” on their hot pasties. Despite Ginsters burgeoning their Cornish credentials, the parent company of the operation is based not in Cornwall but the, errr, low-tax jurisdiction of Jersey.

#20 GR Software and Research (£87,000) — With directors including the husband of Tory MP Andrea Leadsom, this company is owned by the mysterious PANS (UK) Holdings Ltd, which is not a company registered in the UK.

Scrapbook is looking forward to hearing more from Cameron on tax havens and avoidance.

8 Comments

  1. Nigel Wootton says:

    I believe that Lord Cashcroft and Aussie Michael Hintzr can be added to the list, as tax dodging Tory bankrollers. It’s all disgusting: this is the most money-grabbing and lying government ever.

  2. Brenda rogers says:

    This infuriates me to see millionaires up to every scam rather than pay their fair share. At the same time the Inland Revenue is pursuing my son, unemployed after being hurt in a road accident, for the sum of £168 which he apparently underpaid in 2011/2012 due to the Inland Revenue giving him the wrong tax code. So their mistake. My son, a father of three who was only earning £14,500 per annum gross pay, is now worrying how to pay £168 back to them!

  3. It’s easier and more accurate to say “70%” rather than “nearly three-quarters”. Don’t take people for fools like the media does

  4. Same old same old, this has being going on since I was young n started working and got to know about poli tics

  5. Martynduer says:

    And labour aren’t in the pockets of the unions are they! Why do we have so many issues with wealth in this country! I’m not rich in the slightest! It’s time to make our tax fair scrap the 40 & 50% rates (I’m not in either) 20% across the board! Why penilise those who do well for themselves and incentivise those who do not!

  6. Laurence says:

    @Martynduer: That has to be the best misspelling of ‘penalise’ of all time.

  7. Dan says:

    @Martynduer: Your argument only works if there was equality from birth for the whole population, if we all started from the same place.

    The rich rely on the infrastructure of the country that they make their money in, an infrastructure that, by sending their money abroad, they undermine. Money is the only thing that people can never have enough of. Ever ask yourself why people want to rip off the people who have helped make their fortunes? Consider the fact that it generally takes money to make money, that the rich rarely end up poor, but if one is born with very little it is an immense uphill struggle to achieve things that others take for granted. So yes, the rich should pay more tax, and no, I don’t think that Labour is in the pockets of the unions. Would that there was organised labour in this country to counterbalance the forcing down of people’s living standards by unscrupulous profiteers, speculators, and those who ship this country’s wealth abroad through legal loopholes.

  8. AndrewJB says:

    Unions are democratic institutions representing large numbers of ordinary people. I’d rather have them whispering in the ear of governments than someone like Ashcroft.

    I’ve gone beyond wanting the rich to pay a fair share of tax. I’d like to see wealth capped in this country. It could be done in such a way it only affects .05% of the population, but it needs to be done. There’s simply no point in anyone being (for example’s sake) a billionaire. If you reduced someone like that to £10 Million, they’re not going to die. And there’s still plenty they can do.

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