• Osborne’s university friend Peter Davies was his best man
  • Davies’ hedge fund bought £50m share now worth nearly £86m
  • Lansdowne Partners made £100m from financial crash
  • Ex-boss given knighthood after £500,000 Tory donation

Royal Mail post box

George Osborne’s best man heads up a hedge fund which has secured profits of £36m from the privatisation of Royal Mail in under six months — £210,000 for each day since the sale in October last year.

The chancellor’s university friend Peter Davies sits on the management committee of Lansdowne Partners, which snapped up shares at the offer price of just 330p. They are now trading at 564p — a whopping 70% higher.

The government has been slammed today by the National Audit Office for an under-priced sale which saw City firms walk off with two-thirds of the public asset while 40,000 ordinary individual investors were excluded:

“The department [of Business and Skills] was very keen to achieve its objective of selling Royal Mail, and was successful in getting the company listed on the FTSE 100”

“Its approach, however, was marked by deep caution, the price of which was borne by the taxpayer.”

With one fund manager telling Radio 4 that the postal service “was significantly underpriced”, business minister Michael Fallon will be hoping we’ve forgotten about this gem from last April:

“I can state categorically that we have no intention of selling off Royal Mail cheaply.

“We will sell shares in Royal Mail at a fair commercial price that represents value for money for the tax payer.”

In other news, Lansdowne’s former chief exec was awarded a knighthood in 2012 after donating £500,000 to the Conservative Party.

  1. “In other news Lansdownes former chief exec was given a knighthood in 2012 for donating £500,000 to the Conservative party .”

    Wow, they are a cheaper date than Tony Blair. Classy.

  2. robert price says:

    it is now to late to do anything about this now the sale [theft] of the publics Royal Mail should not have been allowed to be sold to the tory governments PALS but at least in would be nice to know who the main shareholders are and see how many more are friends or even family of our goverment

  3. Criminal act should all be prosecuted for fraud
    Money grabbers like to keep it in the club wonder if money was passed back to some ministers

  4. Gordon,

    That’s not the way these sh*ts work though. You’d need to look into the future, when a similar glad hand will be shook with a different scheme. Their rewards can come in different currencies. Like power. Prestige. Comfortable lifestyles traded on the revolving doors of their close networks of mates and families well into the future.

  5. I’ve cashed in thanks to Royal Mail too. Not just the big boys of Westminster that can make money on the sly. Brought a book of stamps when they were 60p each, now I’m using them when they cost 62p. That’s 12p I’m up! Bet the Torys didn’t see that one coming!

  6. Allan MacDonald says:

    Thankfully we in Scotland have the opportunity to disassociate ourselves with this endless Westminster corruption. Remember a member of the general public , who Westminster is meant to work for , was not allowed to purchase any more than 227 shares valued at less than £750 . “City” investors however could buy millions of pounds of shares. So much for us “all being in this together” . This kind of corruption should involve jail sentences , not keeping your jobs and getting voted back in. Followed by knighthoods and expenses accounts for life.

  7. And what are you the reader going to do about it? f’all..

    The top 1% take all the money…

    Pull your finger out and join the revolution

  8. All the Tories and Lib Dems and Some Labour MP”s who colluded in this “Theft”…Should be Jailed….A general election should be held immediately and then an Investigation into All The wrongdoings of this lot!

  9. James Hobson says:

    How many MORE public companies are the Tories going to sl to themselves, friends and families. They should be done for fraud. NHS next?

  10. The Thieving Bastards!! It’s been one lie after another,we as a country have been sold down the swanney!!by this lot.Cameron you are a Wanker! We are ALL in this together!! What a load of bullshit! The government & all the other parties all look out for each other! it’s a case of sod you Jack I’m alright!! well enough is enough.we need someone that is honest & is willing to look after EVERYONE in this country.particularly ALL us that work for a living!!& for pete’s sake shut the borders we have more than enough people living in this country as it is.I would suggest a call for an election if there was anyone suitable to stand up for us,but unfortunately there isn’t anybody!! they all piss in the same pot & rip us off!oh,yes they look after their own & their friends.but what about the rest of us!!one even got a knighthood what the hell for?? The Royal Mail belonged to the Taxpayer!!not just the Govt.It was a national institution.

  11. Brian Liddle says:

    A non story. The hedge fund operates legitimately and its investors are mostly your pensions funds and charities all across the UK. No corruption here. Any fund could choose to buy the shares or not. He just happened to get it right, and make substantial returns for good causes. Good in him.

  12. @Brian Liddle – The fact that this is “legal” is kind of the point, here.

    That there is nothing that we, the voting public can do, to stop a minority Government without a public mandate or even a majority in Parliament, from taking a successful, profitable publicly owned asset, deliberately underpricing it and fixing the rules to make sure that two thirds of that asset is sold off to their close friends and associates.

    These people respond by donating half a million quid back to the party to ensure that their corrupt regime can continue, and are further rewarded with a knighthood. All perfectly “legal” under this crooked, corrupt system that we are all powerless to change.

    If you think that’s a “non-story” because it’s “legal” and they “got it right”, then I suggest you’re missing the point on a fairly major scale.

  13. Brian Liddle says:

    Murrayzz1 I suppose I just don’t buy your conspiracy theory interpretation – that a government deliberately undersells an asset to sell to their friends. In fact it is provable that is not true. Any fund could have bought the shares. The investors in lansdowne are charities and pensions, not Peter Davies, so the wealth transfer you describe just simply hasn’t taken place. And of course Vince Cable led the pricing not George. So basically a closer look at the detail shows that the conspiracy theory version doesn’t hold water in either intent or outcome. Do you have a pension or do you work or give to a charity? Congratulations, you or they are now much better off.

  14. Think this is bad. Wait for the sell off of the NHS. 12 of the Tory grandees either own or have controlling shares in private health care companies. The Government has already been in talks with the major USA health care provider. You can see what’s coming next. Prepare for an increasing drip feed of bad news stories about the NHS.

  15. Rory Tangle says:

    Think this is bad? PFI contracts so beloved of new Labour will mean £55bn of assets will end up costing us… £300bn. Governments of every stripe should hang their heads in shame at the way they’re fleeced by the city…

  16. People say it’s done well people’s pensions did well
    Who would invest 50 m of other peoples money on a gamble
    Obviously a money making venture for Ritch Tory friends
    Get ready for a reduced service
    Greater expences job losses and probably gov bailouts like the railways
    Privatisation of public sector services should be illigal

  17. The thing is, it is quite cosy I admit but until we have reform of the law,these things go on,the examples are endless,the corruption in the UK is staggering, I could write a book on it and when a report was published comparing us to other countries,we came out smelling of roses.Its not the fact that it goes on, its the way its dressed up and all those morally corrupt individuals that turn a blind eye. All and I mean all institutions be it government or private in the uk have a lawful way of covering up and perverting the course of complaints be it the police,local authorities,financial institutions,banks,mortgage companies,mobile phone providers and so on. A new criminal offence of immoral conduct should be considered in relation to offences against the morality of society in general that would encompass both government and private institutions.This would override any statute and law designed to protect those individuals and collective policies that seek to undermine what is actually fair play.At present the law allows us to be ripped off or legally mugged in every walk of life with intentionally spineless institutions set up to regulate. What a laugh our country really is, we certainly know how to gloss over corruption in all of its forms and then have the contempt to stand on centre world stage preaching to others, try and change it and see what happens.

  18. Brian Liddle. With a name like that he is obviously a massive nob. His deserved bullying at school has distracted him from spelling and knowing… Anything really…

  19. Can’t get over Brian Liddle. Is that the worst name of all time?! I would deed poll the fuck out of that.
    Keith Aldi or Alan Costcutters would be an improvement.

  20. Brian Liddle says:

    Interesting isn’t it Nicky that when people don’t like facts they resort to immature name calling. Not one aspect of your contribution is about the situation we all came here to discuss. Your contribution is to talk about school ground bullying and point out my last name sounds like a supermarket. Congratulations! I hope you aren’t old enough to vote if that is the level of political or social debate you enjoy. I suggest you take a leaf out of Murrayzz1’s book. We have different views but we set them out clearly and based around facts with no aggression involved. This is a place I came to for interesting debate. You should be ashamed of yourself. I know exactly where you come from – the politics of envy.

  21. Shamir what revolution would that be? If you can let me know and I’ll join it. The fact for me is that I can’t see how to change the system. How do the likes of us infiltrate the old boys network? To start with I’m female and went to a comprehensive so I can’t have a hope.
    I could stand behind a formidable opposition with clear policies and honest answers to basic questions but a muppet is their frontman.

    Unfortunately the top 1% continue to get the cream whilst the rest of us work hard and play the lottery.

    I would march and strike and stand together against what I believe to be corruption but it would make no odds.

  22. Disgraceful and the PMs refusal to answer questions about this at PMQs shows one rule for the elite one rule for the rest of us.

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