Cameron's new treasurer describes himself as a 'City fat cat' after donating £2.3 to party before election
A hedge fund tycoon dubbed ‘Mr. Copper’ has been appointed co-treasurer of the Conservative Party. City financier Michael Farmer has donated £2.3m to the Tories. Farmer founded RK Capital Management whose main fund, Red Kite, is one of the biggest industrial metals hedge funds in the world. Farmer is often responsible for shipping around 15% to 20% of China’s copper supplies earning his nickname, ‘Mr. Copper.’ Before that he founded a firm called MG Metals which listed on the stock exchange and was then bought out by Enron.
Defending his donation to the Tories, made before the 2010 general election, he told The Daily Telegraph. “You can call me a City fat cat if you want but I’m not giving away my hard-earned money for fun. I’m giving it away because I want to fund something I genuine believe: that Cameron and the Tories will be a far better Government for the country than Labour. I’ve always tried to keep a low profile but this is important.”
An evangelical Christian, Farmer told the paper, “I met Cameron around 2006 and we spoke about importance of the family,” says Farmer. “I suppose you can be cynical about politicians but I felt his response was genuine and I have felt the same ever since.”
He said he believed that David Cameron, the Prime Minister, had the “vision and the policies” to put the UK “on the right path for the future”. Lord Fink, former chief executive of Man Group, the hedge fund business, is stepping down after three years in the post. His place on the board of the Conservative party will be taken up by Peter Cruddas, founder of CMC Markets, which deals in financial derivatives. Cruddas’s personal wealth is around £750m. In one interview, he announced: “I’ve got a £10m apartment in Monaco, a £5m house in England, another fantastic house in Antibes, a yacht and a private jet.”
These multi-millionaires will fit in well with David Cameron, Nick Clegg and George Osborne.
Chris Bambery is an author, political activist and commentator, and a supporter of Rise, the radical left wing coalition in Scotland. His books include A People's History of Scotland and The Second World War: A Marxist Analysis.