Hedge fund founder Alan Howard swells Tory coffers with £1m donation

The hedge fund founder Alan Howard has delivered a boost to Conservative Party coffers with a £1m donation as political fundraising intensifies in the run-up to the next general election.

Sky News has learnt that the City financier has pledged the seven-figure sum in what is understood to be his largest single donation to the party to date.

Mr Howard is the co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management and one of Britain's most successful hedge fund managers.

Based in Switzerland, he was placed at number 100 in this year's Sunday Times Rich List with a fortune of £1.75bn.

Last year, his earnings are reported to have exceeded £82m.

He has given money to the Tories previously, with the Westminster Accounts showing he had handed more than £630,000 to the party since December 2019.

Mr Howard is also a significant philanthropist, having given substantial sums to homelessness and Holocaust charities, among others.

It was unclear whether his seven-figure donation would be disclosed on a list to be published by the Electoral Commission on Thursday.

One source said his pledge may have been received in early April, shortly after the March cut-off point for publication this week.

If so, Mr Howard's donation will be made public in September.

The news of his contribution to Tory finances comes amid the quest to fund parties' election war chests, with Britain due to go to the polls by the end of next year.

Last month, Mohamed Mansour, an Egyptian-born billionaire who serves as the Tories' senior treasurer, said he was giving £5m to the party - said to be its biggest donation for more than 20 years.

He praised Rishi Sunak's handling of the economy and said the prime minister "gets the importance of technology and innovation".

The Tories' financial fortunes have to some extent fallen hostage to the splintering of Brexit sentiment in the parliamentary party and among its donors.

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Boris Johnson was viewed as a money-spinning leader, with wealthy donors under his leadership including Lord Bamford, the JCB tycoon, and Lord Cruddas, the CMC Markets founder.

Both have lost their enthusiasm to back the party with their money since Mr Johnson's defenestration, leaving its treasurers to seek alternatives to fill the funding gap.

It emerged this week that Labour had also landed a new multimillion-pound donation, from Gary Lubner, a former boss of Autoglass.

He told the Financial Times he wanted Sir Keir Starmer to lead a Labour Party into government and remain there for "a long time".

The newspaper said he was expected to give around £5m to help fund its election campaign.

Spokesmen for Brevan Howard and the Conservative Party both declined to comment.