Thursday 1 November 2012

Policy Exchange links to the Conservative party

Policy Exchange is a right wing free market think tank who provide policy ideas for the Conservative party. They promote privatisation and are funded in part by corporations, although which ones and how much are largely unknown.

They are a charity, and claim political independence, which is absurd. The charity status they have makes a mockery out of both the meaning of the word and the rules of the Charity Commission, which allows such organisations to become a charity in the first place.

The list below is of the think tank trustees with some collected from other sources and some new up to date research. The donations the trustees have given have only gone to the Conservative party.

The current trustees of Policy Exchange are:

Danny Finkelstein: Chairman of the Board – Worked as an advisor to the John Major government - Robert Shrimsley, ‘Spin-doctors in the House’, Financial Times, 7 October 1995 - Policy Unit, Conservative Central Office, 1999–2001.

Theodore Agnew: - Donated £144,000.00 to Conservative Party – British Insurance Executive who is non-executive director of Jubilee Managing Agency Ltd. Appointed non-executive member to the Department for Education board by Michael Gove.[1]

Richard Briance: £15,900 ex chief executive and deputy chairman of finance advisory boutique Hawkpoint partners, joined Edmond de Rothschild as its new UK chief executive.

Simon Brocklebank-Fowler: Founded Cubitt Consulting in 1998 and leads many of the firm's key accounts, which include a quarter of the FTSE100 over the last decade, and a range of growth companies and elite tier service firms. [2] Electoral Commission reveals the company he founded has given £35,622.00 to the Conservative party.

Richard Ehrman: Deputy Chairman of the Policy Exchange Board - was a government special adviser in the Employment Department and the Northern Ireland Office during the 1980s. In the 1990s he was chief leader writer of The Daily Telegraph, and is now a consultant director of the think tank Politeia, and on the board of Policy Exchange. He also runs a commercial property company. [3] Is a consultant director of think tank Politeia.

Robin Edwards: A person named Robin Edwards donated £1,250 to Michael Portillo’s leadership campaign in 2001.

Virginia Fraser:  Is a writer for Homes & Gardens magazine and the widow of Frank Johnson, a former deputy editor of the The Sunday Telegraph (1995-99) and editor of The Spectator. She was appointed a Trustee of the right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange on 31 July 2007. [4]

Edward Heathcoat Amory: Was the Conservative MP for Wells – lost his seat in 2010 – writes for the Daily Mail.

David Meller: £3,000.00 – Former Conservative MP for Putney – former Chief secretary to the Treasury under John Major.

George Robinson: Donated £145,000 to the Conservative party - is the Co-Founder, Partner, and Chief Financial Officer of hedge fund, Sloane Robinson Sloane Robinson LLP. Ordered to pay back millions of pounds in tax after a judge ruled against an offshore scheme he had used to slash his bills.

Robert Rosenkranz: is the CEO of Delphi Financial Group, an insurance holding company on the New York Stock Exchange with assets of $8 billion. He is also the founder of a group of investment and private equity partnerships: Acorn Partners LP and Pergamon Advisors LLC

Robert Rosenkranz – The Rosenkranz Foundation, established by Robert Rosenkranz in 1985, funded a report for Policy Exchange upon Boris Johnson’s election, titled: ‘the million vote mandate’, because that’s how many votes Johnson won by in the 2008 election. [5]

Andrew Sells: Treasurer - donated £111,250.00 to the Conservative party

Patience Wheatcroft: - Baroness Wheatcroft: A life peer and long-time supporter of the Conservative party: Business Consultant, DLA Piper (legal services) a global law firm providing lobbying services to “clients in the health and social care sectors”. DLA Piper, which advised ministers on the failed £12 billion IT project for the NHS. Member of the Advisory Board, Pelham Bell Pottinger (financial and corporate communications) - Bell Pottinger whose lobbying clients include Southern Cross, BT Health and AstraZeneca. For more on Pottinger.

Rachel Whetstone: Whetstone is a former conservative party operative, a former chief of staff to Michael Howard[6] the partner of PR operative and Tory speechwriter Steve Hilton. She was appointed a Trustee of the Tory connected think-tank Policy Exchange on 7 July 2003.[7]

Simon Wolfson: Donated £418,350.00 to the Conservative party – Lord Wolfson is a Conservative Peer.

Previous trustees:

Alice Mary Rose Thomson: – Times journalist and supporter of the Conservatives and close friend of David Cameron [8]

Camilla Hilary Cavendish: Journalist for the Times

Charles Moore: Former editor for the Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator – Oliver Letwin is a friend from School and University and is a member of the British American Project

Timothy Steel: Is a Member of Advisory Board of Committed Capital Limited. Mr. Steel serves as the Director and Member of Compensation Committee of Corgi International Ltd.[9]

Policy Exchange is also supported by a number of corporations including Merck, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, the security company Reliance plc, BP, SAB Miller, BSkyB and Bupa.[10]

An investigation of accounts filed with the UK Charity Commission and the US
Internal Revenue Service has also identified the source of over £1 million of funding.

By far the largest of these donors, together making up well over half of the total
accounted for, are the Peter Cruddas Foundation and The Charles Wolfson Charitable. Peter Cruddas resigned following his statement that £250,000 would get you premier league access to the Prime Minister.

Trust. lots more fund references in this PDF

[6] The Evening Standard (London) October 3, 2006 Tuesday Enigmatic Svengali who took young Tory from rank outsider to contender for No10; Known as 'Dave's Brain' or 'the Guru' by Tory MPs, Steve Hilton is David Cameron the low-profile Director of Strategy could get the Tories back into power, writes Paul Waugh SECTION: A MERGE; Pg. 8

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