1 July 2014: Who sat with whom at the 2013 Conservative Party fundraising dinner with an £11,000,000,000,000 guest list
This is a table-by-table breakdown of some of the business tycoons, foreign investors and lobbyists who were invited to the Tories’ annual summer fundraiser at Old Billingsgate market in London on 24 June 2013. The information is based on the guest list leaked to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Guardian. Donations as recorded in the Electoral Commission register since it began in 2001.
Table 1: The Prime Minister’s table: Sponsored by Howard Shore (£1000 per head). At least £1,545,470,588 in combined wealth at the table.
* David Cameron: Prime Minister. How Rich and Wealthy Is David Cameron? Some say David Cameron is the second most powerful man after Barack Obama and is close to taking over, what is for certain is that the British Premier is actually very rich and wealthy. The Prime Minister comes from a long line of wealthy fathers and has believed to amassed a lot of money as one generation has passed onto the next with interest, this does not sit very well with the British public who are broke however many people who have worked with the Premier are coming out and letting the public know how much David Cameron is worth.
The David Cameron image is very important to him and sometimes money gets in the way. David’s grandfather and great uncles were also financiers and stockbrokers and have been linked to many great deals, Sir Ewan Cameron; one of David’s great grandfathers helped the all powerful Rothschild sell war bonds during the war making enormous amounts of money at the cost of many Jewish lifes. It is not clear how much he has but it has been speculated that it is around £100m or maybe even more. The Premier sometimes hides his fortune because it tarnishes the David Cameron image of conservatism and looks very elitist. If you now combine all the areas the Cameron’s make money from it is speculated that the total amount comes to £150m if you add all the property and financial assets, this is something that does not sit well with the British public who are arguably going through one of the toughest recession of our time while paying the Premier for his second home. There has been speculation that David would have waived his salary however this would have created even more speculation. If you want to know How Rich and Wealthy Is David Cameron then read on.
* Samantha Cameron: Prime Minister’s wife. Loadsa money daughter of a viscount. Related to royalty. Samantha Cameron also has a family history of being very rich, her Father Sir. Reginald is said to be worth £20m and her stepfather Viscount Astor is said to be worth £130m, with all this money flying around Samantha is bound to be rich too!
* Howard Shore: Founder of Shore Capital. Outspoken critic of EU regulation. Personal donations: £23,940 Personal + company donations: £499,330. http://www.cityam.com/212921/shore-capital-backs-uk-bid-reform-eu
* Andree Shore: Wife of Howard Shore. Major Shareholder in husbands company. http://www.shorecap.co.uk/shares-and-significant-shareholders/
* Nicholas Berggruen: Billionaire investor, philanthropist and art collector with interests in global governance. Wealth: £1,176,470,588. http://conservativeread.com/bilderberg-conference-2014-eating-our-politicians-for-breakfast/
* Darko Horvat: Slovenian financier who is thought to reside in Switzerland Wealth: £189,000,000. Among those who did get to chew the rhubarb with Dave and Sam was Darko Horvat. Party sources stonewalled when queried about Horvat’s presence hard by the seat of power; maybe he was there to advise on the problem of chronic indebtedness. Once third in the Slovenian rich list, Horvat took a haircut, amounting to whole-body depilation, when an over-leveraged property venture in Las Vegas launched just before the crash (he already owned the Hotel Plaza in New York, flogged by Donald Trump to finance divorcing Ivana) belly-flopped, leaving Darko with several hundred million dollars in liabilities and just a few hectares of Nevadan rubble as collateral. He was a trailblazer in the Slovenian privatisation drive that doubled the national debt and lumbered the country’s banks with toxic assets. Darko now slums it in St Moritz with only £180 million or so to his name.
* Jared Carney: Founder of Lightdale, a California consultancy, with business interests in Singapore, Canada, UK, Brazil and China. Has extensive business experience, is very well connected, and a strong interest in healthcare. http://www.lightdalellc.com/team/
* Sir John Ritblat: UK property billionaire. British Land’s former chairman and chief executive. Now chairman of governors of the Alpha Plus group of schools. Wealth: £180,000,000. 514th on the 2014 Sunday Times Rich List. ‘He is a charming old rogue, a bit of an old-fashioned spiv,’ said one analyst who knows and likes him. Invariably impeccably attired in pin-striped suit and spotless handkerchief in the top pocket, arriving in a chauffeur-drive Bentley for meetings, he fits the archetypal impression of a property developer. But it is through his financing innovations, rather than his development prowess, that he will be most remembered. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2006/jul/16/theobserver.observerbusiness3 http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/article-1118642/Ritblat-firm-wields-jobs-axe-crisis-bites.html
Table 2: The Home Secretary’s table: Sponsored by Howard Shore (£1000 per head). At least £1,800,000,000 in combined wealth at the table.
* Theresa May: Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead.
Frances Osborne Nee Howell and Husband georgeFrances Howell
* Lord De La Warr (William Sackville): Director of Cluff Natural Resources, Holder of underground coal gasification licences in England Wales and Scotland. http://www.cluffnaturalresources.com/projects.aspx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10518369/Coalition-backs-coal-based-energy-revolution.html
Frances Osborne Nee Howell a direct descendent of Edward the first, is the eldest daughter of Conservative Minister Baron David Howell. Her Great Grandmother was the infamous Idina Sackville (the Bolter). Directly related to Lord De La Warr she married 5 times had numerous lovers and was into wife swapping in a big way. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2511499/Idina-Sackville-portrait-woman-hooked-seduction.html
* Dr Jim Hay: Another oil linked billionaire. Wealth: £300,000,000. Personal donations: £184,700. 307th on the 2014 Sunday Times Rich List. Worked for BP for 27 years, is a well-known racing horse and stables owner and is a close friend of Carole Middleton. He was chemical development director for BP Chemicals, leaving the company in 2002 before the Texas City refinery blast in 2006 in which 15 people died and around 500 were injured, having been asked in 2002 to follow up on how the refinery had deteriorated.
Hay broke off from BP in 2002 and acquired Dubai-based Fosroc chemicals company from his former employer. Fosroc is part of JMH Group, a property development, construction and chemicals company that he co-owns with his wife Fitriani Hay (beloved of the high society glossies). http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/tory-donors-linked-unconventional-gas-industry
* Viscount Astor: Conservative peer in the House of Lords. (Son of the infamous Lord Astor heavily involved in the 1960’s Profumo Affair that brought down Harold MacMillan’s Tory government. A scandal that exposed the hypocrisy of an establishment quick to take offence. What’s new? One also that exposed the dishonesty of the police and prosecuting authorities and of the security services. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2536258/Why-I-admire-Mandy-Rice-Davies-Viscount-Astor-Camerons-father-law-tells-reconciliation-showgirl-involved-Profumo-scandal.html http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/profumo-affair-50-years-top-1931952
David Cameron’s father-in-law has said he may have to put on a “Rob Roy-style Scottish accent” to stop the Scottish National Party launching a “Mugabe-style” raid on his family’s estate in Scotland. Viscount Astor, writing in this week’s edition of The Spectator magazine, said he was worried the SNP was planning land reforms to take away estates from large landowners north of the Border. The concerns had worsened after the general election when the SNP won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland.
Mr Cameron has been a regular visitor to the 20,000-acre Tarbert Estate on Jura, which is run by a company registered in the Bahamas Tax haven named after the Astors’ home in Oxfordshire.
Lord Astor, a former Tory minister, married Annabel Astor, Samantha Cameron’s mother, in 1976 after her divorce from Sir Reginald Sheffield. He recalled how his American grandparents were treated with suspicion by the people of Jura when they bought the estate nearly a century ago but they “became well liked in the community”. He said that following the SNP’s startling victory “families like us worry that we will find ourselves regarded as foreigners again in our own country”.
He added: “Are we really going to have to defend owning so many acres of hill when 500 acres of hill may be only worth the same or even less than one acre of good farmland in he lowlands of Scotland? “Is it because we don’t sound Scottish? We should not all have to sound like Rob Roy. “If the SNP wants us all to speak with a certain type of Scottish accent, what does that say to the many hundreds of thousands in the immigrant community who have lived in Scotland for a long time but still speak with the accent of their birth? Are they not Scottish?”
A spokesman for Ms McLeod said: “People in Scotland are having a mature and respectful debate on how land ownership can deliver greater public benefits, and Viscount Astor should consider whether some of his remarks meet the standards of debate that they expect. “The recent consultation on land reform shows that there is popular support for our proposals for an accountable and transparent system of land rights that promotes fairness and social justice, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/11619189/David-Camerons-father-in-law-offers-to-adopt-a-Rob-Roy-style-Scottish-accent-to-stop-Mugabe-style-landgrab-by-SNP.html
* Lord Sterling: Conservative peer in the House of Lords. Finance Director of General Guarantee Corporation from 1962 to 1964. Founded his own company, Sterling Guarantee Trust in 1969. Chairman of P&O from 1983 to 2005. Merged it with Sterling Guarantee in 1985. Special adviser to successive trade secretaries in the Thatcher government between 1982 and 1990. Created a life peer in her resignation honours list in December 1990. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9307702/George-Osborne-lacks-vision-and-Vince-Cable-is-not-up-to-the-job-claims-Lord-Sterling.html http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/36781/jewish-man-becomes-royal-navy-admiral
* Wafic Said: Syria born and living in Monaco and the UK among other abodes, he is worth around £2.5bn. Chairman of Said Holdings, a Bermuda-based investment company. 55th on the 2014 Sunday Times Rich List. Broker in controversial British Aerospace arms trade deal with the Saudi government and Margaret Thatcher in the late 1980s. The deal was paid for in £15bn of Saudi oil – 600,000 barrels were delivered per day. Said denies receiving any money from the deal and says he played a minor part in the negotiations. Saïd has historically been one of the Tory party’s most prominent donors, giving more than £500,000 in donations through his wife.
In 2005 Saïd’s daughter Rasha was recorded as donating £47,000 to the party – when she was only a teenager. The Electoral Commission said there had been no wrongdoing, accepting the ‘clerical error’ stating Rasha instead of her mother Rosemary. Nowadays Saïd is a philanthropist and chairman of Saïd Holdings Ltd, a Bermuda-registered holding company that has a varied portfolio of global investments including Saudi firm Daiym Holdings, http://www.dayimholdings.com/corporate.pdf which has a joint venture with the Indian Punj Lloyd Group to build oil, gas and petrochemical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
* Rosemary Said: Wife of Wafic Said. Major donor who gave £580,000 in the last two years. Personal donations: £679,266. Rosemary’s daughter Rasha Said first made a name for herself by donating money to the Tory party, just as her controversial billionaire father did in the past.
But there was nothing conservative about her multi-million-pound wedding at France’s Palace of Versailles. In scenes that defied David Cameron’s austerity policies, the 26-year-old London-based socialite staged one of the most expensive marriage celebrations in recent history.
The lavish affair was attended by senior Conservatives including International Development Minister Alan Duncan, at the palace that was once home to France’s notoriously spendthrift kings. Miss Said’s wedding to fellow PR worker Khaled Khawaja, 27, featured a two-hour live performance by pop star Robbie Williams and a 15ft-high tiered cake. Among the 700 British guests were the Duchess of York and her daughters, the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, Princess Michael of Kent, Sir Michael Caine, Tory grandee Nicholas Soames, hotelier Sir Rocco Forte and his family, Samantha Cameron’s mother, Viscountess Astor, and Sotheby’s boss Henry Wyndham.
It was paid for by 72-year-old tycoon Wafic Said, a close friend of Margaret Thatcher and one of the Tories’ most prominent financial backers before being linked with a shady arms deal. Those who accuse Mr Cameron of being an out-of-touch member of the upper classes will also have raised an eyebrow at the presence of his mother-in-law, Viscountess Annabel Astor. Her daughter, Samantha Cameron, frequently tries to play down the family’s privileged background, as does Eton-educated Mr Cameron.
Mr Said’s donations were banned during a sleaze crackdown because he was not deemed to be a British resident, but in 2005 Miss Said was recorded as giving £47,000 to the Conservatives. Then a teenager, she would not have had enough money for the donation, prompting claims that she had unlawfully acted as a ‘proxy’ to her father. But the Conservatives said it was a clerical error, and that the money had come from Rosemary Said, Miss Said’s British mother. An enquiry carried out by the Electoral Commission found there had been no wrongdoing, and Miss Said remains a Conservative supporter.
On Saturday her family and friends filled Versailles, the palace most commonly associated with the Sun King, Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette. The monarchs’ high living cost them their heads during the 1789 French Revolution, but this weekend’s guests had no thought of anything spoiling their merriment as they tucked into a cordon bleu vintage banquet in a resplendent state room. Dressed in black tie and ball gowns, they filed through the world famous Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed to officially end World War I in 1919.
On Saturday evening, the revellers were serenaded in the manicured Orangery gardens by Robbie Williams – a singer who is unlikely to provide a private performance for less than £1million. ‘It was an incredible celebration – one that couldn’t be more luxurious,’ said one of the guests. ‘Many of the guests were so rich they arrived by private jets, but even they were surprised by how lavish the whole thing was. ‘The whole thing would have cost many millions. People came from all over the world, but there were plenty of Conservative Party supporters from England.’
Speaking about her big day earlier this year, Miss Said said modestly: ‘We want to keep it very private. It is an occasion just for our family and friends’, but this did not stop well-connected friends posting pictures on social media sites which can be viewed by the general public. These included pictures of the couple preparing to be married, and a photograph of their huge cake.
As well as hiring out Versailles, Mr Said organised a pre-wedding celebration and dinner at the Paris Opera on Friday night, filling it with fresh flowers and dancing ballerinas in honour of his only daughter. He had originally wanted the wedding to take place in Damascus, where he was born, but the ongoing revolution in Syria made this impossible.
The entire extravaganza in France rivalled the celebrations of another of Britain’s richest men, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, whose daughter Vanisha married at Versailles seven years ago. Mr Said, who sold a collection of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels for almost £8million in 2010, spared no expense for Cheltenham Ladies’ College-educated Miss Said and her new husband, a trainee at Lord Bell’s PR conglomerate, Chime Communications.
The Said family are based in Monaco for tax reasons, but also divide their time between homes in Paris, Marbella, Saudi Arabia and London’s Eaton Square, as well as a £50million Oxfordshire estate. Mr Said admits that he played a ‘small’ role in the controversial 1986 Al Yamamah deal which saw Saudi Arabia buy £40billion worth of fighter planes from the UK amid allegations of bribery.
As well as Baroness Thatcher and her son Mark, close personal friends include numerous other senior Conservative politicians and former Labour minister Peter Mandelson. Mr Said gave £25million to Oxford University in 1996 to found the Said Business School, and now travels the world in his own Boeing 737, making business ‘deals behind the scenes’. Mr Duncan confirmed he was at the wedding, while Downing Street said they ‘weren’t going to deny’ that Viscountess Astor was there too.