Donors 1999

Right from the start, you can see how the list is overflowing with extremely rich businessmen who have been given peerages and positions of influence.

Bosses can buy their way into the Labour Government at the expense of working class people.

On this page we begin with Richard Branson’s brother-in-law, Robert Devereux, who is Chairman of the Government’s Creative Industries Task Force on the Internet.

Greg Dyke is the Director-General of the BBC (salary £500,000). His personal wealth is estimated at £14 million. Blair put him in charge of the Government’s NHS Charter Advisory Group.

Felix Dennis is the Chairman of Dennis Publishing. He is worth £250 million. Dennis Publishing produces lifestyle magazines like Maxim and four of the seven top-selling computer magazines.

Robert Bourne is a property developer and Chairman of Clubhaus, a golf club business with clubs in the UK, Germany and Spain. He heads Legacy, ‘preferred bidder’ to buy the Dome and is married to Sally Greene, former actress and theatre impressario. She is Managing Director of the Old Vic Theatre in London.

Peter J. Thompson is Chairman of the Hong Kong Port and Maritime Board.

Robert Murray is a Director of Sunderland FC and a former Director of FKI, Chairman of Sterling Capitol plc, the Sovereign Capital Corporation and Omega International Group plc. His personal wealth is estimated at £30 million. Caparo Industries is owned by one of New Labour’s favourite businessmen, Lord Paul. He sits on the Competitiveness working Party: Promoting The Best Of Best Practice and the West Midlands Regional Competitiveness Working Party.

Citygrove Leisure is a London-based property development company, involved in the multi-million pound development of retail and entertainment complexes. The Chief Executive and Chairman of Citygrove is David Woolf, known as the “Grandfather of the Retail Park Industry”.

Stephen Barclay is an Executive Director of Talisman House, a holding company for financial service companies. His salary and bonuses came to £151,066 in 1999. Peter Gilman is a former director of Leeds FC, who made £5.5 million from selling the club. He is the Chairman of Thorpe Park (Leeds) Ltd, a huge new “business park” being built just outside Leeds. The business park is aimed at call centres and is the site of the National Grid HQ.

Sir Ronald Cohen is Founder and Chairman of Apax Partners & Company, an international private equity company. He is Vice-Chairman of EASQDAQ, the European Stock Market. He is Chairman of the Government’s Tech Stars Steering Committee taskforce and a member of the DTI’s UK Competitiveness Committee. He received a knighthood in the 2000 New Years Honours List.

John Boyle, millionaire Scottish businessman, is Chairman of Motherwell FC. In 1998 he made £42 million from selling Direct Holidays to Airtours.

Vision Posters is a Midlands-based billboard advertising company, which provides advertising space for the Labour Party.

Leslie Butterfield is Chairman of Partners BDDH, one of the top 30 advertising agencies, whose clients include Mercedes, The Guardian, BT and Sainsbury. Michael Watt, a New Zealander whose personal wealth is £35 million, is the head of Octagon CSI, one of the world’s biggest negotiators, distributors and producers of televised sport (including satellite racing coverage for bookmakers).

Lord Gavron was made into a Peer on 19th June 1999 and gave £500,000 to the Labour party on June 25 1999. His personal wealth is £50 million. Until June 1998 he was a Director of the St Ives Group, a printing and publishing group which is one of the FTSE top 250 companies. Until March 2000 he was Chairman of the Guardian Media Group, which owns the Guardian newspaper.

Gulam K. Noon is founder of Noon Products, a large supplier of ready-made curries to supermarkets. His personal wealth is £45 million.

Sir Maurice Hatter is Chairman of IMO Precision Electronics. He pledged £1,000,000 to the Labour Party on 16/4/99 and was knighted two months later. His personal wealth is £49 million.

Professor S.K. Bhattacharya is a Director of the Warwick Manufacturing Group and Professor of Manufacturing at the University of Warwick. He is a member of the Government’s Competitiveness Working Party on Increasing Business Investment and the West Midlands regional Competitiveness Working Party.

Isaac Kaye is Deputy Chief Executive of the huge Florida-based health company, the IVAX Corporation and Chairman of Norton Healthcare. Norton Healthcare is the largest generic drugs company in Britain.

Tony Gallagher is the owner of AC Gallagher Holdings, the parent company for Gallagher Developments and JJ Gallagher, construction and property development companies which were estimated to have made £24.5 million in profit in 1999.

David Goldman, who died in October 1999, was Chairman of BATM Advanced Communications, an Israeli telecommunications equipment company.

Haris Sophoclides is the multi-millionaire President of the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood. He is the owner of J&P Ltd, one of the largest property and construction firms in the Middle East. His business empire has a turnover of more than £500 million a year, building hotels, airports, hospitals and military bases all over the world. He is a friend of the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott. Chris Wright is the Chairman of Chrysalis and QPR FC. His stake in Chrysalis is worth £141 million (he made £8 million in a share sale in 1999).

Lord Alex Bernstein is the former Chair of Granada TV. He was one of a group of millionaires who gave donations totalling £500,000 to Tony Blair’s “private office” in 1996. He was given his peerage in March 2000.

William Haughey is Chief Executive of City Refrigeration, the UK’s largest specialist refrigeration and facilities management company. He was one of the ten Scottish businessmen who wrote a letter to the Scotland on Sunday newspaper in January 1999 to express support for the Labour Party Lord Diamond, the former SDP leader in the House of Lords, is Chairman of the Lionel Cooke Memorial Fund, a trust which gave £15,000 to the Labour Party in 1996 and 1997. The trust funded the SDP for 9 years in the 80’s and is named after a friend of Lord Diamond.

As well as names from the business world, the Labour Party attracts its share of rich writers and pop stars, like Baroness Ruth Rendell, the multi- millionaire crime writer (she got her peerage straight after the election in 1997) and Audrey Eyton (author of the best-selling book, The F-Plan Diet).

From the music industry there is John Reid (Elton John’s former manager for 28 years, during which they made $245 million), Neil Tennant, the millionaire singer with the Pet Shop Boys and Mick Hucknall (singer with Simply Red, hotel, club and restaurant owner) whose personal wealth is more than £40 million.

Once very popular at Downing Street (he’s less in favour since he backed Malcolm McLaren for Mayor of London) is Alan McGee, who founded Creation Records and is also involved with clickmusic, an internet music directory. He sits on both the Government’s Creative Industries Task Force and their Music Industry Forum.

Next on the list is another millionaire, Paul Adamson, a Brussels-based lobbyist, who is Chief Executive Officer of Adamson BSMG. His clients have included McDonnell Douglas, Smithkline Beecham, Shell and Glaxo Wellcome.

Jeremy Mogford, founder of the Browns restaurant chain, sold out to Bass in January 1998 for £35 million. He now runs hotels and restaurants in Oxford

John Ritblat is a property tycoon and Chairman of British Land, the UK’s second largest property company. He is also Chairman of Milner Estates (which is valued at £160 million).

In this section there are donors that include Sun Life and Provincial, part of the AXA group of Insurance and Pension companies (the 3rd largest insurance company in the UK), Jon Aisbitt, Co-chairman of Goldman Sachs Australia and Adrian Friend, Interim European Director of Trust-e, an internet privacy licensing company.

David Kyte, Chairman of the Kyte Group, gave more than £5,000 to the Labour Party in 1998. The Kyte Group, which he founded in 1982, is the largest independent clearer on the LIFFE (London International Financial Futures Exchange) and includes KyteNet, an internet division.

Other notable donors in 1999:

Bruce Jarvis and Dr G. Toulmin – regular donors
Chris Woodgate – hi-tec entrepreneur
Sir Sigmund Sternberg Gave £5,000 in 1999
Alan Millett Gave £2,500 in February 1999