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The City Donors Who Backed Britain’s New Prime Minister

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As Prime Minister Liz Truss prepared to announce a huge intervention into the UK’s energy market on Thursday, a register was published revealing the latest financial interests of British Members of Parliament.

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(Bloomberg) — As Prime Minister Liz Truss prepared to announce a huge intervention into the UK’s energy market on Thursday, a register was published revealing the latest financial interests of British Members of Parliament.

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It provided the first glance at some of Truss’s most loyal supporters who financially backed her campaign to become leader of the Conservative Party and successor to Boris Johnson in Downing Street.

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Among the names who together gave about £415,000 ($480,000) were prominent figures from the City of London and wider business community — hedge fund chiefs, brokers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Several are Brexit-backers and supporters of lower taxes and a smaller state, even though Truss’s energy support package, to protect families and business from soaring bills, could cost the government as much as £200 billion.

Here are some of the key donors from the Square Mile and beyond.

Jon Moynihan

The venture capitalist and prominent Brexiteer donated £20,000 to Truss’s leadership campaign. Moynihan is chairman of Ipex Capital Management Limited, having spent much of his career heading up services giant PA Consulting Group Ltd. In 2019 he donated £100,000 to Boris Johnson’s leadership bid as Brexit-supporting Conservatives fought to extricate Britain from the EU. “Look at the list of Leave supporters and we are the crowd that have actually built something and taken risk to create jobs and wealth,” he said at the time, “the people who actually grow the economy.”

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Howard Shore

Shore, who gave £50,000 to the new prime minister’s campaign, set up the stockbroker that bears his name, Shore Capital, in 1985, and ran it until he stepped down from the CEO role in 2017. He’s a longstanding donor to the Conservative party, both personally and through Shore Capital. He also donated to the Vote Leave campaign ahead of the Brexit referendum. Boris Johnson’s government appointed him as a trustee of the Tate art galleries in February.

Even before Johnson’s removal, Shore was calling for a return to the Thatcherite policies that Truss went on to champion during her campaign. Matthew Elliott, a key figure behind the Leave campaign and founder of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, is a political adviser to Shore Capital.

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Michael Spencer

Spencer founded ICAP, which acts as a middleman between City traders. Spencer sold most of his shares in the firm in 2017, after its voice broking arm merged with Tullett Prebon, and later sold the markets unit, named NEX, to CME Group Inc. for about $5.5 billion.

According to the Sunday Times rich list in 2021, Spencer is worth £1.2 billion. Boris Johnson’s government appointed him to the House of Lords, the UK’s upper legislative chamber, in September 2020 after four years as Conservative party treasurer. He’s also the chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies, a center-right think tank founded by Margaret Thatcher. He gave £25,000 to Truss’s election campaign. 

Andrew Law

Law has worked for the hedge fund Caxton Associates for almost two decades, becoming chief executive in 2012. The London-based fund is known for bets on how economic trends will affect bonds, currencies and other assets. Law was previously at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as head of proprietary trading in fixed income, currencies and commodities.

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Law declared his support for Truss in the Times newspaper, which reported that he’d donated £3 million to the Conservatives over the years. His donation this time was transport with a value of £5,127. Law attended a state school in Manchester and sits on the board of social mobility charity the Sutton Trust, according to the website of his family charity.

Fitriani Hay

The largest single donation came from Fitriani Hay, reported to be the wife of former BP executive James Hay. She gave £100,000 toward the campaign.

Lance Forman

Former Brexit Party MEP Lance Forman donated £10,000 to Liz Truss’s campaign under the name “Smoked Salmon” — he owns salmon-curing company H. Forman & Sons. An active tweeter, he’s recently called for Truss to “proceed with fracking urgently,” criticized the UK’s net zero plans and wind farm subsidies, and called for lower taxes to combat the cost-of-living crisis. As a Vote Leave campaigner he hosted events at his factory on Fish Island in east London with Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Michael Gove, and was later elected as an MEP for London in May 2019, leaving the Brexit Party in December 2019 to support Boris Johnson.

JCB

The company chaired by Anthony Bamford, a prominent supporter of the Conservatives and Brexit, provided transport to the value of £5,316 for Truss’s campaign. JCB, best-known for its tractors, is Europe’s largest construction equipment maker. The register also revealed that Bamford and his wife Carole Bamford donated £23,853 toward outgoing prime minister Johnson’s wedding celebration.

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