Billionaire Tory donor gives £250,000 to their election campaign

Lord Spencer has handed the Tories his  largest donation since 2019
Lord Spencer has handed the Tories his largest donation since 2019 - Chris Ratcliffe/BLOOMBERG

A top Tory donor has called on the City to rally behind the Tories in the battle over No 10.

Billionaire Lord Spencer, dubbed the most successful treasurer in Conservative Party history after he raised tens of millions for the party from 2006 to 2010, said he plans to “encourage all my business contacts to stick with the current government as a better choice than Labour”.

The finance tycoon, who made his fortune founding broker-dealer ICAP, said he has handed £250,000 to Rishi Sunak’s election campaign in what marks his largest donation since 2019.

His call for support comes amid dire polling for the Conservatives, with analysis last week showing that no incumbent party has voluntarily entered an election campaign with worse polling.

Despite calling an election seven months before he had to, Mr Sunak is substantially behind his three predecessors Lord Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson in the polls.

Lord Spencer, who was a major donor to Boris Johnson’s successful leadership campaign, argued that the economy is now showing signs of growth under Mr Sunak. It beat consensus for the first three months of the year after GDP expanded by 0.6pc, ending an official recession.

Switched sides

“The economy is like a supertanker, it takes time to turn around but it is turning around and Rishi does deserve some credit for that,” he said.

“I understand that there’s a lot of frustration with the Conservative Party after 14 years in power and there’s a feeling that it’s the other side’s turn, but those people who are thinking of voting Labour be careful what you wish for and be very careful of what you expect.”

However, the former Tory adviser Iain Anderson, who has switched sides and is now advising Labour on how to support corporate Britain, said people are “crying out for stability and economic competence and just want more predictability to be able to invest”.

As the nation prepares to head to the polls, Mr Anderson added that businesses are feeling hopeful that they can “move on, turn a page – the current regime is exhausted”.

Sir Keir Starmer and the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves have been successfully courting business leaders and soothing any concerns in the finance industry, where many bosses are now preparing for a Labour government. Labour officials were confident enough to have emailed business leaders last week, urging them to support the party in public.


Labour is fighting this election on the economy. Jamie Dimon, head of the world’s biggest bank JP Morgan, has praised “pro-business” Sir Keir’s commitment to growing the economy.

However, Lord Spencer warns that “they may talk the talk on promoting growth, but will they actually walk the walk? I am profoundly sceptical”.

In his view, Sir Keir is “not a Tony Blair”, and he fears that this could be the “most Left-wing [Labour] administration this country has ever had”.

“They’ve done a very good job at not frightening the electorate by representing that they’re very moderate and centrist,” he said.