GMB study shows education secretary collected £650,000 in donations, sponsorship and remuneration

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A new study by GMB shows that donations, sponsorship and remuneration to Education Secretary Michael Gove total £647,544 over a number of years.

More than £230,000 originates from donors in finance, commodities and the City.

GMB political and corporate affairs officer Maria Ludkin said: “The total of £647,544 support for Michael Gove confirms what we all knew that the Tory Party is the political wing of the rich and the elite and in Parliament they do their bidding.

“The cut in income tax last week from 50p to 45p for those on £150,000 or more a year while the economy is in recession and the public finances in deficit shows the extent to which the rich and the elite call the shots.

“Trade union financial support for political activities is the cleanest political money in the UK. GMB members are asked to vote regularly to support a political fund and they do so by an overwhelming majority. GMB membership is voluntary. Every penny that GMB spends to support political activity is fully disclosed as required by law. GMB members make policy at an annual Congress that is open to public scrutiny.

“Far from trying to curtail support by GMB members for political activity our member’s participation should be welcomed as an example of the ‘Big Society’ in action. It is the covert support for the Tory Party by big business that needs to be brought out into public scrutiny.”

These are some examples:

·        The largest donation was from Martin Calderbank for £150,000 on 1/05/2009. He is a former founding partner of private equity house Stirling Square Capital Partners. He also founded Agilitas Partners mid-market private equity firm in 2010.

·        Aidan Heavey, founder and chief executive of Tullow Oil, who is ranked 679th in the ST Rich list with £106m donated £10,000 on 15/04/2010 another £10,000 on 26/10/2010 followed by £25,000 on 16/09/2011

·        Alan Bekhor the shipping magnate and former metals dealer who owns 90% of Britmar (UK) and ranked 650th in ST Rich list with £110m there was £5,000.00 on 10/08/2011

·        Jeremy Isaacs, Co-founder of JRJ Group, a private equity investment company, and former head of Lehman Brothers’ Europe and Asia operations and ranked 751st on ST Rich list with wealth of £95m a donation of £3,000.00 on 10/08/2011

·        Michael Davis (Mick) Energy: Chief Executive of Xstrata, the FTSE 100 mining company. A donor to Pargav, Adam Werritty’s vehicle. 871st on ST Rich list with £80m a donation of £7,500.00 on 18/08/2011

·        Nick Leslau, Property: ST Rich list ranked 371st with wealth of £185m made a donation of £2,000 on 10/08/2011

·        Hilda Worth, Internet: wife of Marc Worth, founder of fashion trend and analysis website, Worth Global Style Network, sold for £142m. Marc and brother on ST Rich list in 751st place with worth of £95m. donation of £1,500.00 on 26/11/2009 and a further donation of £2,000.00 on 10/08/2011

·        Henry Lumley Finance: Ranked 645th on ST Rich list with wealth of £112m. Owned and sold Insurance company, Edward Lumley Holdings. Now runs investment and property group Lumleys.net and owns Windlesham golf club in Surrey. Donation of £2,500 on 04/04/2005 and a further £5,000 on 16/02/2011

·        Clifford Gundle, Founder of Aurum Fund Management, now run by son Kevin Gundle, a founding trustee of ARK made donation of £1,750 on 24/02/2007

·        John Dunsdon, Property: Runs property investment company, Coldunell Ltd. Ranked 497th on the ST Rich List with wealth of £144m made donation of £5,000 on16/02/2011.


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