Tag Archives: michael farmer

Tax avoidance? Tories’ #1 donor running hedge funds from Bermuda

  • Tories claim to be on the offensive over tax avoidance
  • But #1 donor running secretive Bermuda hedge funds
  • Territory snubbed David Cameron over tax deal last week

Hamilton, Bermuda

In the wake of the G8 summit (and a controversial donation to the Labour Party in company shares) the Tories have become complacently smug when it comes to tax avoidance.

Indeed, Tory whips are even handing out lame patsy questions for PMQs:

Mr Marcus Jones: I welcome the prime minister’s leadership on getting the G8 to agree a deal on tackling aggressive corporate tax avoidance. Will my right honourable friend confirm that we won’t be offering a corporate tax avoidance service as does the party opposite?

In the spirit of leadership so admired by obliging backbenchers, perhaps the prime minister can ask Michael Farmer, the Tories #1 donor, former party co-treasurer and now board member, why he is linked to at least six hedge funds operating out of Pembroke?

That’s not Pembroke, West Wales but Pembroke, Bermuda – a country which snubbed David Cameron’s entreaties over tax avoidance just last week.

When not giving the Tories £4.9 million or paying for his son to join the Bullingdon Club, “Mr Copper” runs the extractive commodities-focused hedge fund RK Capital Management.

While ostensibly being managed from New York and London, filings with US regulators indicate that portions of the company’s leading offering, the Red Kite hedge funds, are operating out of the tax haven (click links below for SEC filings):

With his new found enthusiasm for stamping out tax avoidance, doubtless David Cameron will be enquiring as to the purpose of these arrangements shortly.

Yet more Tory donations from JCB — while they export British jobs

David Cameron’s role in opening a new JCB plant in Brazil (while at the same time the construction firm is laying off 300 British workers) came in the wake of yet another Tory donation from the heavy machinery firm.

According to the latest figures from the electoral commission, in July this year the Tory party received £8,500 from the firm owned by Anthony Mamford. Lo and behold, less than three months later, Cameron opened the £63m JCB plant in Brazil by claiming:

“It’s a myth that growth in one country is bad news for another.”

In the time between the donation by JCB, and the reciprocal backscratching by the PM, JCB announced it would be laying off 200 agency workers from its Rocester headquarters despite sales “hitting a new record”.

In what can only be described as remarkably convenient timing, Cameron managed to open the plant on the same day that Rocester’s local paper reported a second wave of job cuts at the digger-maker.

JCB and the Tories have a strong toady relationship history, being the only British company to be namechecked in Cameron’s 2011 conference speech and winning the taxpayer subsidy on the same day it gave £150k to the party.

Among the other figures released by the electoral commission this quarter, the top Tory donors stand as:

  • £525k donated by Michael Farmerhedgefund millionaire who described himself as a ‘fat cat‘, and funded his son’s membership to the Bullingdon club
  • 151k donated by Stanley Fink – described as the “godfather” of the UK hedgefund industry and whose personal fortune is estimated at £120m
  • 100k donated by Alexander A Fraser

News of the further 110 JCB job cuts seems to have been, erm, buried.

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