Boris Johnson has received £500,000 in donations since May

Would-be Tory leader was given £205,000 of political donations in just two weeks

Boris Johnson has received more than £500,000 in political donations since May, the latest register of MPs’ interests shows, with the Tory leadership frontrunner getting £205,000 in a period of just two weeks.

By contrast, his Tory rival to become prime minister, Jeremy Hunt, did not declare any new donations for the period. He has pulled in just over £185,000 in donations overall since May.

Johnson’s haul included a donation of £100,000 from strongly pro-Brexit venture capitalist Jon Moynihan, who played a leading role in the finances of the official Vote Leave campaign.

Johnson also received a combined £28,000 from digger company JCB and its Brexit-supporting chairman, Anthony Bamford. So far this year Johnson has received nine separate donations from JCB or Bamford.

Donors to the Johnson camp also included Rosemary Saïd, the wife of billionaire philanthropist and arms deal fixer Wafic Saïd, as well as a combined £20,000 from investment firm Killik and Co, along with its founder and his wife.

The register of interests shows a wider frenzy of donations for the period of mid-June, amid the early heights of the Tory leadership race.

Sajid Javid, the home secretary who was knocked out of the contest in the penultimate round of MPs’ voting, secured £185,000 over the same period, primarily in larger donations.

Javid’s money included £50,000 from Sun Mark, a branding and distribution company dealing in household goods, and £40,000 each from hedge fund owner Andrew Law and from Dounia Nadar, a London-based arts philanthropist.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, who was eliminated before Javid, received £181,000 of donations from sources including property companies and a private equity millionaire.

The former culture secretary got three donations from the horseracing industry – from racehorse auctioneers Tattersalls; from trainer John Gosden; and from Steve Harman – ex-chairman of the British Horseracing Authority.

Michael Gove, the last candidate to be eliminated by MPs before Johnson and Hunt were put to a vote of Tory members, received donations of £45,000 in all. Among benefactors to the environment secretary was Philip Harris, the Tory peer who set up the Harris chain of academy schools, which expanded hugely when Gove was education secretary.

Gove also received £10,000 from businessman Mohamed Amersi – as did Johnson.

Amid the general largesse, another candidate eliminated during the MP’s voting, Rory Stewart, received slightly less – his total for the period was a single donation of £2,000.

Under Conservative party rules, there is a maximum permitted spend on a leadership campaign of £135,000 per candidate. However, some of these donations could be spent on other aspects of an MPs’ work.

In previous Tory leadership elections, some candidates have given any excess once the race is over to Conservative campaign headquarters for the party to use.


Peter Walker Political correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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