So, you would never vote Tory in a million years and you hate everything they stand for, but, are you really sure you’re not inadvertently handing over your hard-earned money to major Tory party donors?
The Electoral Commission keeps records of major donations to political parties, and we’ve been having a long hard look at them to weed out all the companies that fund the Tories.
Inspired by the huge success of Stop Funding Hate – a campaign to raise public awareness of the companies that willingly choose to advertise in newspapers alongside hateful, divisive propaganda – Evolve Politics have decided to begin our own campaign in the same vein.
In a campaign we are calling #StopFundingTheTories, we want to raise awareness of the companies, products and services that, if you hand over your hard-earned money to, you are unwittingly funding the Conservative Party.
Evolve Politics is seeking to crowdfund £10,000 to go towards a sustained advertising campaign to raise public awareness of exactly what companies are funding the Conservatives, and how people can avoid handing over their hard-earned money to Tory Party donors.
The Tory Party have a despicable track record in government for enacting policies that intentionally benefit the super-rich at the expense of the most vulnerable people in our society. Poverty is soaring, rough sleeping has more than doubled since the Tories came to power in 2010, and, due to the hateful, divisive, divide-and-rule rhetoric spouted by the Conservatives, hate crimes against minorities are now rising year on year. All this whilst the wealth of the very richest people in Britain has more than doubled.
In contrast to Labour, whose membership numbers have soared under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, the Tories could now have as few as 60,000 paid-up members contributing to party coffers. And, due to this plummeting of their membership numbers, the Tories are now heavily reliant on their super-rich backers handing over vast sums of money to keep them afloat.
According the the latest accounts, the Tories took in just £1,459,000 from ordinary membership fees, whilst Labour’s members contributed almost ten times as much to their party, at £14,393,000. The Tories, however, beat Labour in terms of donations.
Whilst Labour brought in over £14m, mostly made up of small donations from ordinary people, the Tories raked in more than £18m, almost exclusively from huge one-off donations from their super-rich backers.
Evolve have previously reported that:
In the last quarter [the Tories] received nearly £3million in private donations from less than 100 people. This means an average donation of £30,000 – or, as you or I would call it, a luxury car.
The Tories also received over £700,000 from 61 companies, with an average donation of over £10,000. A figure which goes to show exactly why their interests seem so closely wedded to corporations and the rich.
Donations to the Conservatives make up over 80% of donations by private individuals and corporations, whilst donations to Labour make up just under 0.5% of these figures.
It’s little wonder then that the Tories seem increasingly intent on pleasing their super-rich backers with policies that exclusively benefit them, to the detriment of ordinary people.
Given that there is very little likelihood of the Tories’ membership numbers rising any time soon, their only sustainable funding comes from the huge donations of their super-rich backers – who are, through the products and services they sell, actually bankrolled by you and me – ordinary people. This means that, in essence, for every pound we hand over to one of these companies, a proportion of that money is then handed to the Tories.
So, if you want to avoid unwittingly funding the Tory party in any way, shape or form, here is a comprehensive list of the companies, products, and services you will want to avoid giving your money to at all costs.
[Correction: Moonpig founder Nick Jenkins, who previously donated to the Tories, no longer has any involvement in the business after selling it in 2011 to Photobox, with it now being owned by Exponent and Electra. Evolve Politics is happy to clarify the record.]
Westfield – The company that owns Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City has donated almost £500k since 2008.
Selfridges. With shops in London, Birmingham and Manchester, the company has donated over £300k since 2009.
Bicester shopping village. Owned by Value Retail which has donated £9k since 2016.
Next. Director Simon Wolfson has donated over £400k since 2008.
JCB. You’re unlikely to be in the market for a bulldozer, but construction company JCB has licensed hundreds of products, from lightbulbs to boots to brooms to pyjamas. Since 2008, JCB and its subsidiaries have donated over £4.5m to the Tories.
Boden. CEO Julian Granville donated £12k between 2009-15.
Richer Sounds. Founder and 100% shareholder Julian Richer donated £150k between 2010-14
Lycamobile. The SIM card company donated over £2m to the Tories between 2011-16.
Tempcover. Car insurance company, donated £400k since 2015.
Scottish Power. Have donated £48k since 2010. They’ve also given considerable amounts to Scottish Labour although the last donation was in 2016.
E.On UK. The gas and electricity supplier donated £8.4k to the Tories in 2016.
Pimlico Plumbers. Large London-based plumbers, have donated £65k since 2015
Microsoft Ltd (British subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation). £137k between 2006-15.
Food and drink
Sainsbury’s. President John Sainsbury has donated over £2m to the Tories since 2008.
Bestway. Cash and carry with huge network of outlets. Have donated over £700k since 2008.
Samworth Brothers. Make Ginsters, Soreen Malt Loaf, Melton Mowbray pies. Director Mark Samworth has donated £585,000 to the Tories since 2010.
Iceland. Director Malcolm Walker has donated £110k since 2012.
Warburtons. The bread company donated £25k in 2010.
Global Brands Ltd. Make various branded drinks including Hooch and VK alcopops. Have donated £21k since 2015.
Radnor Hills Mineral Water Co Ltd. Mineral waters and fruit juices, donated £7k since 2015.
Frederic Robinson Ltd. Owns Robinson Breweries and 280 pubs in the north west. Produce various bottled and cask beers. Have donated £29k since 2012.
Delamere Dairy Ltd. Dairy products, especially goats milk. £7.5k since 2015.
Hotels and entertainment
Flamingo Land. This Yorkshire theme park and zoo has donated £83k since 2014.
The London Cabaret Club. Have donated £95k since 2015.
Imperial London Hotels Ltd. Seven hotels in central London. Have donated £12k since 2015.
Country House Weddings Ltd. Four wedding venues in the south. Have donated £33k since 2009.
Beds and Bars Ltd. Budget tourist accommodation in the UK and Europe. Donated £5k in 2017.
Cameron Mackintosh. The producer of Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon, Cats and Hamilton donated £15k between 2012-17.
Genix Healthcare Ltd. Network of NHS and private dental clinics. Has donated almost £500k since 2008.
New Cross Nursing Group Ltd. Nursing agency with branches across the country. Has donated £42k since 2014.
Gatwick Airport Ltd. Donated £18k in 2016.
National Express. The bus and coach company has donated £15k since 2011. They’ve also funded Labour in the past, although not since 2013.
Express Newspapers Ltd. Donated £154k between 2008-17.
Northern and Shell. The company which publishes the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, OK!, New!, and also owns Channel 5 and the Health lottery. Donated £10k in 2017. [A takeover by Trinity Mirror is imminent – Trinity Mirror are not Tory donors, as far as we can tell.]
To support our crowdfunding appeal for a sustained advertising campaign against companies that fund the Tories, you can donate via our JustGiving page here.
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