A major Tory donor was at the centre of one of the most shocking moments of a charity auction that’s hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The Financial Times has exposed the appalling behaviour at the annual men-only Presidents Club gala at London’s posh Dorchester Hotel.
A journalist who went undercover at the notorious event says she witnessed female hostesses being harassed, groped and sexually propositioned by rich male attendees. Covertly filmed footage of the event also reveals the extent of the sexist language used.
The FT’s story includes this account of how a lot for plastic surgery was sold:
The lot, listed under the slogan “Spice up your wife”, was bought by Richard Caring:
Caring is not only a multi-millionaire restaurant owner, he also happens to be a substantial donor to the Tory party.
He gave more than half a million pounds in cash and non-cash donations to the party between 2010 and 2015.
Electoral Commission records show the majority of that came in prizes for the Tories’ own black tie auction events:
Caring also bought the biggest lot of the night – paying £400,000 for naming rights at a new intensive care unit at Evelina London children’s hospital. It apparently earned him a standing ovation.
Nice to see the non-dom business associate of Philip Green doing his bit.
According to the Guardian, Caring: “Claimed hereditary ‘non-domiciled’ tax status thanks to the US origins of his father, a former GI who settled in London after the war. This quirk enabled Caring not to disclose the existence of his Swiss or Monaco accounts to the UK tax authorities, and legally to avoid taxes on his capital held there.”
It wasn’t just Tories splashing the cash on lots at the event, whose organisers required hostesses to wear “black sexy shoes” and do their hair and make up as if they were going to a “smart sexy place.”
A cash for access dinner with Boris Johnson was among the prizes up for grabs for guests, who included Tory minister Nadhim Zahawi:
Truly, a caring party…