Much-needed boost for Rishi Sunak as tycoon coughs up £5m for Tory war chest

Rishi Sunak: Voters want Tories to ‘deliver for them’

Rishi Sunak has received a much-needed boost amid multiple political crises eating away at Tory support.

A Leeds-based tech tycoon, Frank Hester, is reported to have handed the Conservative Party a single £5 million donation.

The sum is one of the largest in the party’s recent history, with an equal amount being given to Mr Sunak in June by Egyptian-born billionaire Mohamed Mansour – at the time, the largest single donation since 2001.

The party’s income was hit dramatically amid the chaos of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, resulting in Labour now significantly out-raising the Tories.

Accounts published by the Electoral Commission last month showed Labour raised £2.7 million more than it spent in the year to December 2022.

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The Tories, meanwhile, were in a £2.4 million deficit over the same period.

Sky News reported the major boost to the Tory war chest, saying it is expected to be published by the Electoral Commission later this week.

Just last week, Labour raised questions about top Tory donor Frank Hester, after it emerged he’d won a Government contract worth nearly £150,000 and later donated an almost identical sum to Mr Sunak’s party.

Documents seen by the Mirror showed no other companies were invited to bid for the contract.

Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne said it was “yet another example of a Tory Party mired in sleaze. That a private healthcare company gave the Tory Party hundreds of thousands in donations after receiving a contract with no competition raises serious questions”.

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A spokesman from TPP said Mr Hester should have made the donations “in a personal capacity” and said it is “apolitical”.

They clarified he repaid the company in full.

TPP is “a leading global provider of healthcare technology”, providing “vital clinical IT services in… more than 2,600 GP practices”.

Mr Hester was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to healthcare.

The Sunday Times’ Rich List estimated Mr Hester’s wealth at £415 million, ranking him in joint 321st place, compared to Mr and Mrs Sunak’s £529 million.

A hedge fund also gave the Tories £1 million earlier this year.

The party has seen a significant reduction in donations since removing Boris Johnson as leader.

Labour has also picked up the former boss of Autoglass as a new donor, giving them up to £5 million this year.

A Conservative Party spokesman declined to comment.

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