At least 14 of the Tories’ top 20 donors can be linked to companies based in tax havens, Political 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 Hague — Transmissions & 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.