Theresa May proves the adage: 'to the victor, the spoils'

Written by Tom Smithard on 4 August 2016 in Diary
Diary

The prime minister declares donations for her leadership bid, while her predecessor loses perks after leaving office.

Theresa May’s leadership campaign will go down as one of the most successful of all time – not only did it achieve its aims long ahead of schedule, it also raised a six-figure sum while rivals failed to secure a penny.

The former home secretary’s leadership campaign received £275,000 in donations, according to figures released via the MPs’ register of interests today.

More than half the funding came in after Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox both dropped out of the campaign following the first round of MP voting on July 5.

May was so successful she even continued to pick up donations two days after Andrea Leadsom quit the race on July 11, during the period she was prime-minister-in-waiting.

The unspent money – which must account for most of the £275,000 figure given her campaign consisted of just two press conferences and the aborted hire of an office – will now be transferred to Conservative party coffers, where it will be put to good use should May call a snap election in the autumn.

So far this year CCHQ has raised £11.4m compared with Labour’s £8.3m, the SNP’s £739,000, the Liberal Democrats’ £483,000 and Ukip’s £432,000 – according to the latest figures from the Electoral Commission, giving the party a strong head-start in any early election campaign.

By contrast to May, none of her erstwhile rivals – Leadsom, Crabb, Fox or Michael Gove – declared a penny of donations for the leadership contest on their register of interests.

The largest donations to May’s campaign came from Michael Davis and Abel Halpern, for £30,000 each, while both the Sunmark company and Lord Lupton each gave £25,000.

Meanwhile elsewhere on the register of MPs’ interests the speaker John Bercow declared two tickets for the royal box at Wimbledon, worth £7,790.

David Cameron announced that his honorary membership of Ellesborough golf club, worth £1,165 a year and given to him annually since 2011, came to an end on July 13th – the day he stopped being prime minister. He also announced that rent for the property he moved to after leaving Downing Street, owned by his friend Dominic Johnson, is worth £2,650 a week.

Jeremy Corbyn declared a pair of tickets to Glastonbury festival, worth £456. He had been expected to speak at the festival but in the event pulled out as the leadership crisis broke around him. On the register he says he donated the tickets “to a family member”.

Owen Smith did not declare any donations but Angela Eagle was given £75,000 worth of office, staffing and other support by technology entrepreneur Anthony Watson for her quickly aborted leadership campaign.

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