The Tory millionaires whose cash toppled the 'red wall' for Boris Johnson


A handful of millionaires and billionaires pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds into the Tory campaign to topple the ‘red wall’, it can be revealed.

A Mirror investigation found the same donors handed almost £200,000 in cash to a string of Tory candidates in marginal seats, largely held by Labour MPs or Brexit rebels.

As Boris Johnson proclaims his administration “the People’s Government”, the figures reveal a co-ordinated fighting fund for Tory candidates to run slick campaigns and produce literature – much of it bankrolled by aristocrats and bankers.

One secretive group of donors has historic links to the Freemasons.

Another is a millionaire motor racing mogul who has treated Boris Johnson a chummy photo op in a sports car.

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “The Conservatives are not the party of aspiration, they’re the party of privilege, funded by those who want to protect their privilege.

“Until we kick big money out of politics, our political system will be rigged in favour of the obscenely wealthy.”

Boris Johnson with racing tycoon Lawrence Tomlinson, who handed £43,000 to 14 individual candidates

Documents reveal a group called Stalbury Trustees donated £116,000 to 26 Tory candidates – including £60,000 fighting 15 marginal seats in the north and midlands.

The firm’s founding documents list its primary purpose as “the promotion of conservative principles and for the benefit of the conservative cause or Party.”

Stalbury’s directors include Robert Gascoyne-Cecil – the seventh Marquis of Salisbury, a former Tory leader in the House of Lords and Ulric David Barnett, a retired investment banker.

Mr Barnett, the sole director of the firm who isn’t a landed aristocrat, lists his occupation on official documents as “Gentleman.”

The 15 northern seats targeted by Stalbury Trustees include a £5,000 gift to 26-year-old Tory Dehenna Davison’s campaign in Bishop Auckland, where she ousted veteran Labour former minister Helen Goodman.

They also targeted Bassetlaw, the seat previously held by ex-Labour MP John Mann – now an independent peer in the House of Lords – pumping £3,000 into new Tory MP Shaun Bailey’s campaign.

Mr Johnson’s campaign was undeniably given a boost by the spending

Billionaire Charles Cayzer and his family, who made their fortune in shipping during Britain’s imperial heyday handed more than £60,000 to successful Tory candidates in the months leading up to November’s general election , many of them marginal Labour seats in the North.

They included an eye-watering £27,000 to the campaign of Ashfield MP Lee Anderson who ousted Labour’s Gloria De Piero.

The family also donated £7,000 to Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, who won the seat in a 2017 and was last year made Boris Johnson’s Parliamentary Private Secretary.

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Anthony Endfield, the millionaire owner of the Rayware homewares firm, divided £20,000 between nine candidates – including those who successfully turned Darlington, Penistone and Stocksbridge and Bishop Auckland blue.

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey said the donations were further evidence of a political system that privileged the wealthy

All but a handful of the donations – made in amounts between £3,000 and £5,000 – were to northern, Labour-held marginals.

Mr Endfield, the Cayzer family and Stalbury Trustees also handed £22,000 to the fighting fund of Miriam Cates, who stood in Sheffield Penistone and Stocksbridge.

Ms Cates ousted Angela Smith, a former Labour MP who defected first to the Independent group, then to the Lib Dems.

Louise Haigh, MP for nearby Sheffield Heeley, told the Mirror: “These figures reveal the war chest the Tories were relying on to sell Boris Johnson’s promises during the election.

“We will be holding him to account on those promises but it is highly likely that the only people to benefit from these secretive donations will be the new Tory MPs and not the people they’re meant to serve.”

Racing tycoon Brexiteer Lawrence Tomlinson, who reportedly has a fortune worth £550 million, handed £43,000 to 14 individual candidates, including £10,000 to candidates in the north and midlands.

During the 2016 EU referendum campaign, Boris Johnson visited the Ginetta Cars factory owned by Mr Tomlinson – taking to the track in a car emblazoned with the slogan “Take Back Control”.

And the secretive ‘Leamington Fund’ gave £29,500 to five northern seats – and £31,500 in total.

Among those who benefited from the donations was new Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison

No public records exist of the fund’s members or ownership.

But the Sunday Times reported in 2005 that the fund’s chairman was Michael John Price – then provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire Freemasons.

A Masonic lodge for fans of Jaguar motor cars and based in Warwickshire was named after Mr Price in 2010.

Some candidates received thousands of pounds from multiple donors. Dudley North MP Marco Longhi was given £7,500 by the Leamington Fund and £5,000 by Stalbury Trustees.

And Darlington MP Peter Gibson was handed £2,000 by Tony Endfield and a further £4,000 by Dukehill Services – a financial services company owned by the heirs to a Black Country property empire.

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As well as Labour seats, some northern Lib Dems and former Tory Brexit rebels were targeted.

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The Cayzer family funnelled £10,000 into the campaign to unseat Lib Dem Tim Farron in Westmorland and Lonsdale.

And the campaign of Darren Henry MP, who won in Broxtowe, the seat of ex-Tory remain campaigner Anna Soubry, was given £3,000 by Stalbury Trustees and £2,000 by Mr Endfield.

There is no suggestion of illegality by the Tory donors.

The donors

Stalbury Trustees

A firm set up in 1987. Documents list the firm’s primary purpose as “the promotion of conservative principles and for the benefit of the conservative cause or Party.”

Its directors are mainly retired bankers with peerages.

They include Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the seventh Marquis Of Salisbury, a former Tory leader in the House of Lords.

He lives in one of England’s largest historic houses, Hatfield House, which was built by an ancestor in the early 17th century, and he currently serves as Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.

His brother, Lord Charles Cecil – also a director – enjoyed a 38-year career as a banker and is now High Sheriff of Hertfordshire.

John Grimston, the Earl of Verulam, is also listed as a director. He’s a former director of corporate finance at Barings Bank.

The firm handed £60,000 to 15 successful candidates in northern seats – and some £116,000 to winning Tories overall.

Seats they donated in:

  • Ashfield – Lee Anderson – £3,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Pudsey – Stuart Andrew – £3,000 – Hold
  • West Bromwich West – Shaun Bailey – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Middlesborough South – Simon Clarke – £3,000 – Turned Tory in 2017
  • Bassetlaw – Brendan C Smith – £3,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Bury North – James Daly – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Bishop Auckland – Dehenna Davison – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Barrow In Furness – Simon Fell – £5,000 – Gain from Independent (previously Labour)
  • Broxtowe – Darren Henry (Ind) – £3,000 – Gain from Independent (previously Tory)
  • Dudley North – Marco Longhi – £5,000 – Gain from Independent (Labour)
  • Scunthorpe – Holly Mumby-Croft – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • West Bromwich East – Nicola Richards – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Penistone and Stocksbridge – Miriam Cates – £5,000 – Gain from Independent (Labour)
  • Derby North – Amanda Solloway – £5,000 – Gain from Independent (Labour)

North and Midlands total: £60,000

National total: £116,000

The Cayzer family

The Cayzer family made their fortune in shipping during Britain’s imperial heyday.

In May, the family were valued at at least $1.4 billion. Charles Cayzer, the head of the family, worked in corporate finance at Baring Brothers and the family holds a 48% stake in investment firm Caledonia.

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Seats they donated in:

  • Ashfield – Lee Anderson – £27,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Penistone and Stocksbridge – Miriam Cates – £15,000 – Gain from Independent (Labour)
  • Copeland – Trudy Harrison – £7,000 – Turned Tory in 2017 by-election.

North and Midlands total: £49,000

National total: £66,500

Tony Endfield/Rayware

Tony Endfield is joint owner and Managing Director of Liverpool-based kitchenware firm Rayware. The firm reported turnover of £33.9 million in the year to December 2018.

Seats donated in:

  • Bishop Auckland – Dehenna Davison – £2,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Penistone and Stocksbridge – Miriam Cates – £2,000 – Gain from Independent (Labour)
  • Darlington – Peter Gibson – £2,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Stockton South – Matt Vickers – £2,000 – Gain from Labour

North and Midlands total: £8,000

National total: £18,000

Dukehill Services

A financial services company which was until this month owned and controlled by the Lee, Carl and Martyn Richardson, the three sons of Roy and Don Richardson, the multi-millionaire Black Country-based property developing twins.

Seats they donated in:

  • Darlington – Peter Gibson – £4,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Blackpool South – Scott Benton – £3,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Bolsover – Mark Fletcher – £4,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Grimsby – Lia Nici – £4,000 – Gain from Labour

North and Midlands total: £15,000

National total: £48,000

Lawrence Tomlinson

Motor racing tycoon with an estimated fortune of £550 million.

He started in business importing ski boats and classic cars to the UK, before moving into a construction business specialising in care homes in the 1990s.

He now owns Ginetta Cars and competed in the Le Mans 24 hour race.

Seats he donated in:

  • Pudsey – Stuart Andrew – £2,500 – Hold
  • West Bromwich East – Nicola Richards – £4,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Derby North – Amanda Solloway – £2,500 – Gain from Independent (Labour)
  • Stockton South – Matt Vickers – £2,500 – Gain from Labour
  • Wakefield – Imran Ahmad Khan – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Don Valley – Nick Fletcher – £2,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Colne Valley – Jason McCartney – Gain from Labour
  • Keighley – Robbie Moore – £3,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Sherwood – Mark Spencer – £2,500 – Gain from Labour
  • Stoke-on-Trent North – Jonathan Gullis – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • High Peak – Robert Largan – £2,500 – Gain from Labour

North and Midlands total: £34,000

National Total: £43,000

The Leamington Fund

Set up as a fund to funnel money into Tory candidates around 80 years ago.

The secretive fund drew press attention in 2005, after it was alleged Michael Price was also provincial grandmaster of Warwickshire Freemasons.

  • Dudley North – Marco Longhi – £7,500 – Gain from Labour
  • Newcastle-Under-Lyme – Aaron Bell – £7,500 – Gain from Labour
  • Stoke-on-Trent South – Jack Brereton – £3,000 – Turned Tory in 2017
  • Stoke-on-Trent North – Jonathan Gullis – £5,000 – Gain from Labour
  • Wallsall North – Eddie Hughes – £2,500 – Turned Tory in 2017

North and Midlands total: £29,500

National total: £31,500





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