The most notable donor of 1998 (and 2001!) starts off the list: Lord David Sainsbury, who has given the Labour Party more than £7 million since 1996. He was made a peer in 1997 and given a Government Minister’s job in 1998.
Lord Bragg, one of ‘Labour’s Luvvies’ got his peerage in 1998.
Other major donors include Brian Clarke, the boss of Pandrol, who make the most widely used rail fastenings in the world and Robert Earl, the multi-millionaire founder of Planet Hollywood.
Brian Dempsey, a millionaire property developer and former Director of Celtic FC (he was removed from the board in 1990 after trying to get Celtic to move to Robroyston, where he had property interests) has recently been involved in takeover bids for Clydebank FC and Celtic, where he was described as ‘a disgraceful conman’ who ‘cares nothing for the supporters.’
Harold Ennis, a major donor over the last few years, is a director of several companies, including Boxmore International, a packaging company based in the North of Ireland, Galen Holdings, a pharmaceutical company and Dunloe Ewart, a huge Irish property company. He was given a seat on a Competitiveness Advisory Group Taskforce.
Bernie Ecclestone, the billionaire boss of Formula One racing (who earns so much he pays £27 million in personal taxes every year), gave £1 million to the Labour Party because Tony Blair promised to keep down the top tax rate. The money was returned after a parliamentary inquiry.
This section includes Lord Hollick, the Chief Executive of United News and Media, the group which includes newspapers such as The Express and The Star, NOP opinion polls and TV companies like Anglia, HTV and Meridian. He earned £616,000 in 1998 and sits on one of the Government’s Competitiveness Working Parties.
Alan Sugar is Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC, Executive Chairman of Viglen Ltd and Chairman of Amstrad. His personal wealth is £585 million – he recently sold his 170ft yacht for £11 million. Another major donor is Howard Stringer, the Chief Executive Officer of Sony America.
The list also includes Doug D’Arcy the former Managing Director of Chrysalis Music and wealthy actors like Sinead Cusack and Jeremy Irons. Jimmy Boyle, the former gangster turned writer is also included (along his wife Sarah).
James Fisher and Sons are a Shipowning, Operation and Management company, run by David Cobb (who received a CBE in June 1999).
Amongst other activities, they manage 6 irradiated nuclear fuel transport ships for PTNL, a subsidiary of British Nuclear Fuels. They also manage a warehousing complex at RAF Sealand and made an operating profit of £8,833,000 in 1998.
Lord Puttnam got his peerage in the same year he gave his donation to the Labour Party. The oscar-winning film producer sits on the School Standards Task Force, the Creative Industries Task Force and is Chair of the General Teaching Council, although he has no teaching experience.
Garry Hart, another big donor, is now Special Adviser to his friend Lord Irvine in March 1998. He is a former partner at the City law firm Herbert Smith.
Ispat International is a dutch holding company which owns a number of other steel companies around the world. Most of them were bought in Government privatisation schemes.
Joel Joffe is the former Deputy Chairman of Allied Dunbar. He served on the Royal Commission on Long-Term Care, producing a minority report which let the Government ignore the expensive care provision recommended by the majority of commission members. He got his peerage in the 1999.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh is theatre owner and producer whose personal wealth is Ł400 million. He owns 4 West End theatres and runs 3 more. Nathu Ram Puri is the owner of several large industrial companies. His personal wealth is Ł90 million. He owns Melton Medes, listed as one of the top 100 privately owned companies in the UK.
Jarvis Astaire is a millionaire ex-boxing promoter. GLC is another name from the list of Lobbying and PR companies who contribute to the Labour Party’s finances.
This section includes rich musicians like Peter Gabriel and Lisa Stansfield, comedian Eddie Izzard and actor Richard Wilson.
They have given big donations to the Labour Party along with millionaire businessmen like Tim Waterstone of the Waterstone’s bookshop chain (now Chairman of the group which includes 271 HMV shops) and Matt Thomson, owner of the largest independent printers in the UK.
Tony Tabatznik, Former Chair of Generics (UK), a pharmaceutical company is sitting on a family fortune worth £260 million.
Leopold Joseph, a private bank which provides offshore banking and Trust services also gave £1,000 to the Labour Party.
Other notable donors in 1998/9:
Daily Mail and General Trust – Gave £500
Gordon R. Jarvis
Maurice Millward (former Chairman of Millward Brown)
Anthony Scrivener QC
Peter B. Green (a Bermuda-based businessman who owns Marshall’s Island, a large double island in Bermuda)
Lord Alexander Bernstein
Peter J. Thompson – Caparo Group
Sir Sigmund Sternberg
Felix Dennis – Sun Life and Provincial
David Goldman –
Greek Cypriot Brotherhood