Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has already racked up donations worth £1,049,000 from a super-rich elite linked to tax havens, think tanks and private members’ clubs, according to new data from the Electoral Commission.
It includes £443,000 from just two financiers linked to tax havens. Jeremy Hosking, who has offshore business interests in Jersey and the Cayman Islands, gave Farage’s party £243,000. Chris Harborne, who is linked to five companies named in the Panama Papers, has switched from backing the Conservative Party to give the Brexit Party a massive £200,000 donation.
Other donors are linked to high-profile right-wing think tanks. Richard Smith donated £100,000 and owns the 55 Tufton Street property in Westminster that serves as a base for right-wing think tanks including the Taxpayers’ Alliance and the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation. Another £100,000 donation came from Clare Barbour, the wife of Patrick Barbour, a key backer of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the Bruges Group and Global Britain.
Another £10,000 came from Simon Vardigans, a private planes enthusiast who is part-owner of a series of exclusive London clubs, including Soho’s famous Groucho Club. gave Farage’s party £10,000.
Some donors were giving five-figure sums to the Brexit Party as the same time as backing candidates in the Conservative leadership contest. Jon Wood, the director of a Bermuda-based investment fund, gave £75,000 each to both Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage’s party. Jeffrey Hobby, the owner of Dunmoore Properties, handed £10,000 to the Brexit Party at the same time as he was backing Dominic Raab for Conservative leader with a £15,000 donation.
Farage has also accepted a £100,000 donation from George
Farmer, the former chairman of alt-right group Turning Point UK. Farmer gave
nearly £100,000 to the Conservative Party last year and dined with Theresa May,
but has since turned on the party.
Who is donating to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party?
Jeremy Hosking – £243,000
Hosking is a multi-millionaire financier who has links to a series of tax havens. His latest venture Hosking & Co is based in Dublin, while he maintains a financial interest in Marathon Asset Management which is owned offshore in Jersey and operates in the Cayman Islands. Hosking gave over £1.8 million to the official Vote Leave campaign in the referendum and previously donated £700,000 to the Conservative Party.
Chris Harborne – £200,000
Harborne is linked to a total of five companies in the Panama Papers, each of which lists him as an “intermediary” under his full name Christopher Charles Sherriff Harborne. Two of those businesses – AML Global and Sherriff Group – are linked to private aircraft and aviation. Harborne is a recent convert to Nigel Farage’s party, having previously given nearly £300,000 to the Conservative Party.
Peter Street – £100,000
Street is a former UKIP donor, giving £92,000 to Nigel Farage’s original party. As owner of the Cardboard Box Company, Street signed a letter setting out demands for David Cameron’s negotiations with the EU. He has since sold the business.
Clare Barbour – £100,000
Clare Barbour is the wife of Patrick Barbour, a businessman who gave UKIP £390,000. Barbour founded Barbour Index, a provider of technical information to the construction industry that he sold for £22 million in 1999. Since then he has been a key backer of right-wing think tanks including the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the Bruges Group and Global Britain.
George Farmer – £100,000
Farmer is the son of former Conservative Party treasurer Lord Michael Farmer, and has worked for his father’s metals investment company. Only last year Farmer Jr. had followed in his father’s footsteps by donating nearly £100,000 to the Conservatives and dining with Theresa May, but later turned on the party after becoming chairman of alt-right group Turning Point UK. The former Bullingdon Boy maintains an aggressive Twitter account that has called US Democrats “retards” and called Sadiq Khan a “twat” and a “virtue signalling cuck”. He is now married to Candace Owens, a key figure in Turning Point’s US operation and one of President Trump’s favourite young advocates.
Richard Smith – £100,000
Smith owns HR Smith Group, a manufacturer of aircraft equipment, and previously gave £285,000 to UKIP. He is reported to be the owner of 55 Tufton Street, the offices of a number of right-wing think tanks including the Taxpayers’ Alliance and the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation. Smith also donated £285,000 to the Grassroots Out referendum campaign, £80,000 to the Conservative Party and £7,500 to David Davis’ failed 2005 bid for the Conservative leadership.
Jon Wood – £75,000
Wood has been simultaneously backing both Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, giving them £75,000 each in recent months. The fund manager, branded a “hard and calculating man” by a judge, is the director of a fund based in the tax haven of Bermuda, and was reported to reside in Switzerland in 2010. In previous years he handed £637,000 to the Conservative Party and gave £1 million to the official Vote Leave campaign in the referendum.
Ken Davy – £25,000
Ken Davy is a financial adviser who has written approvingly that “the lower value of the pound provides the possibility of the UK’s exports leading the economy forward”. He claims his advice can ensure that “the outcome of the Brexit negotiations does not become a dog’s breakfast for you or your clients, and fine dining will remain an option.”
Gary Dutton – £25,000
Gary Dutton is the owner of E.I.R.P Limited. He is a manufacturing tycoon who was said to be worth £135 million in 2016.
Simon Vardigans – £10,000
Jeffrey Hobby – £10,000
Jeffrey Hobby is the property mogul behind a donation from Dunmoore Properties. He also donated £15,000 to Dominic Raab’s recent leadership campaign via a subsidiary.
Malcolm Bluemel – £10,000
Travel entrepreneur Malcolm Bluemel is the former owner of the Planet Rock radio station.
Andrew Perloff – £10,000
Andrew Perloff gave £225,000 to Nigel Farage’s UKIP. He is the chairman of property investment company Panther Securities, whose recent company accounts (page 21, link) say he has a beneficial interest in Portnard Limited, a company based in Jersey.
Mark Hadsley-Chaplin – £9,500