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.

  1. While the £8,500 is a relatively donation, JCB and the Bamford family have given millions to the Tory Party over the last decade (as well as to Conservative outlier organisations such as the Midlands Industrial Council).

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