A billionaire staunch Brexiter who ploughed millions into the leave campaign during the EU referendum has donated £1m to the Conservatives’ election war chest.
Peter Hargreaves, a businessman and co-founder of one of the country’s largest financial services firms, gave the sum despite previously labelling the Tory leader, Boris Johnson, a “buffoon”.
Hargreaves, who backed leaving Brussels without a deal, donated £3.2m to the Leave.EU campaign founded by Arron Banks but admitted earlier this year he had “totally given up” on Brexit and was in “despair”.
The donation emerged in the latest set of figures released by the Electoral Commission, which showed that the Conservatives banked nearly £3.6m in donations in just a week to 26 November – almost seven times as much as the Labour party.
Labour received just £521,909, mainly made of funds from unions, and the Liberal Democrats only £509,998. The Green party received £100,000 and Northern Ireland’s Alliance party banked £15,000. In total, parties reported donations worth £4.7m between 20-26 November, the third week of general election campaigning since the dissolution of parliament.
The figures do not include donations under £7,500, meaning the totals do not account for smaller sums given to parties. Last month, Labour said it had received £1m in small donations in the first 10 days since the election was called, with the average amount totalling £26. Read more