Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Tory backer 'working from within'

Ukip leader Lord Pearson in claims about Tory backer

One of the Conservatives' biggest financial backers is "working from within" the party to try to shift it in a more eurosceptic direction, UK Independence Party leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch claims.

Lord Pearson said that Henry Angest was one of a group of Tories who were "very disappointed" that leader David Cameron has not offered a referendum on quitting the European Union.

The Observer revealed that companies linked to the Swiss-born banker have lent or donated almost £7 million to the Conservatives over the past decade.

Lord Pearson confirmed that Mr Angest had also given money to his eurosceptic think-tank Global Britain, which monitors BBC broadcasts for bias over Europe.

The Ukip leader told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "He is a eurosceptic, there's no doubt about it. He has funded in the past my Global Britain think-tank.

"Henry is someone who would like the Conservative Party to be more eurosceptic. He is someone who is - and I think there are many of my friends who are - working from within the Conservative Party to achieve that.

"All of them and most of the Conservative grassroots - and us - are very disappointed that David Cameron didn't deliver the referendum on our membership of the European Union that he promised."

The private bank Arbuthnot Latham, in which Mr Angest holds a majority stake, lent the Tories £5 million last year, boosting their election war chest. And Mr Angest has donated £1.2 million since 2001 through a party called Flowidea and lent a further £500,000 - since repaid - through Wyler Investments.

A Conservative source said that Mr Angest held no official position within the party.

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