The Sunday Telegraph

Tories fear Sunak is in the grip of super-rich donors

- By Camilla Turner and Ben Butcher

SENIOR Tories fear super-rich donors have a strangleho­ld over Downing Street as they claim the Prime Minister is “in hock” to a small group of wealthy individual­s.

The Conservati­ve Party is now more reliant on a small group of donors than it has been since records began more than two decades ago, according to an analysis of records held by the Electoral Commission.

The Telegraph examined the top 10 donors in each given year as a proportion of the total amount of donations received by the two major parties.

Last year, three-quarters of donations to the Tories came from just 10 people, an increase from 40 per cent in 2022 and the highest since 2001.

One former Cabinet minister said the problems with over-reliance on a small pool of donors is two-fold.

“It basically means we are in hock to just a very select group of people who are not really representa­tive of what is going on across the country.

“They will be very much banging the drum or bending the ears [of those in Downing Street] just with their own views, which doesn’t lead to good decision-making.

“It is becoming self-evident on what now seems to be the dying days of the Tories – you’ve got to ask what is the motivation of some of these individual­s? What have they been promised? Some are absolutely holding out for gongs and peerages.”

They added it also results in over-reliance on key individual­s, adding: “They went with a begging bowl to Mansoor last year because they were so broke.”

Last month, Rishi Sunak sparked an Easter honours row as he announced a knighthood for Mohamed Mansour who is one of the Conservati­ves’ biggest donors.

The Prime Minister rewarded Mr Mansour, who gave £5 million to the party last year, in a surprise list that was released just before the Bank Holiday weekend.

A Conservati­ve Party spokesman said: “Donations to the Conservati­ve Party are properly and transparen­tly declared to the Electoral Commission, openly published by them, and comply fully with the law.”

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