- Candidates in the Conservative leadership contest can spend up to £300,000.
- Insider has analysed donations to the 10 declared candidates, plus Priti Patel.
- The contest officially begins Tuesday and will conclude on September 5.
Voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest is due to begin Tuesday afternoon, with the UK expected to learn the name of its new prime minister by September 6.
So far there are 10 candidates confirmed, although Home Secretary Priti Patel has yet to say whether she is running, and has accrued at least 13 supporters without declaring.
Candidates can spend £300,000 this year, double the spending limit in the 2019 contest, and equivalent to the spending limit for three Parliamentary by-elections.
That only covers funds spent after the formal beginning of the campaign, which will be good news for those with flashy videos released (and possibly re-released) last week.
Teams don't have to declare for a month after receiving the donation. In the meantime Insider takes you through the 11 candidates's declared donations to see what their war chests could be, should they make it past the first few elimination rounds.
Ready for Rishi
Rishi Sunak declared £50,000 received by his local party organisation in November 2021, but has received no personal donations in the past year. The £50,000 came from Dean Benson, a Teesside millionaire.
All being said, Sunak's probably rich enough to put his hand in his own pocket – and the £16,876 redundancy payment he's entitled to for resigning from being Chancellor will help too.
There's been awkward news in the Mail on Sunday already about his launch video and how it features Diageo and Guinness, given his campaign is being run by Beer APPG vice-chair Lord Smith of Hindhead.
Penny Mordaunt has had nothing coming her way in the past year, but Mordaunt's previously received £20,000 from First Corporate Consultants, a firm run by Bristol Port Company owner Terence Mordaunt (no relation).
The Port Company gave £25,000 to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt each last time they ran for the leadership.
Mordaunt's local association received £3,000 from billionaire donor Sir Michael Hintze in October 2019, but that was part of nearly £300,000 given by Hintze to the Conservative Party for the general election. Hintze is also in line for a peerage in Johnson's resignation honours, The Sunday Times reported.
Tom: A Clean Start
Tom Tugendhat, the Foreign Affairs Committee chair, warned in a March interview with Insider that MPs and political parties should exercise greater caution in accepting donations, noting he had "declined" donations "from certain people" who would go on to or had given money to other politicians.
Tugendhat's launch event was attended by Michael Tory, a political donor and investment banker who has previously given the Conservatives nearly £350,000 but most recently gave £15,000 to the Liberal Democrats in the 2019 general election. Tory told the Sunday Times in early June that Johnson had to resign.
Tugendhat has also raked in £65,000 to support his work on the committee in the past year, including £25,000 from former Tory Party treasurer Lord (Michael) Spencer, who gave £20,000 to Sajid Javid in 2019.
Liz for Leader
Liz Truss's only entry in the register of members' interests for the past year is the £229.25 royalty payment for "Britannia Unchained", the page-turning 2012 treatise she co-authored with Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, and Chris Skidmore.
Her donors since her 2010 election are pretty limited: £4,000 from Norfolk logistics businessman Richard Johnston and £2,000 from David Meller in 2015, last primarily seen in the PPE VIP fast-track lane, as openDemocracy reported. Truss's own flashy video has got into a bit of hot water already over questions about the use of footage filmed by civil servants, not special advisers.
Her HQ is based at Lord Greville Howard's 11 Lord North Street townhouse, where one Boris Johnson ran his campaign in 2019.
Nadhim Zahawi is so rich, he doesn't quite know how rich he is – though seemingly not rich enough to spark the interest of the Sunday Times Rich List research team.
He could self-fund his campaign, potentially getting another mortgage out on either his property and 31 acres of land in Warwickshire with (heated) stables; his London house; or his Dubai apartment. Or he could sell his shares worth more than £70,000 in BT.
Zahawi has had no donors in the past year, but during the 2019 general election his constituency was helped out by £3,000 from Lord Peter Cruddas; £5,000 from Jo Bamford, heir to the JCB empire; and £2,000 from Iraqi-born financier Raed Hanna's MFL Finance.
The newly-appointed Chancellor has pledged more transparency about his finances following a series of allegations he is under investigation by HMRC, after he was previously probed by the National Crime Agency, and for good measure the Serious Fraud Office – but only once he's made PM, of course.
Tory donor Dr Maurizio Bragagni told Insider he'd be backing Zahawi.
A spokesperson for Zahawi's campaign told Insider: "Like all candidates we will be seeking donations from our supporters. These will all be declared in due course in line with the rules."
Kemi for Prime Minister
Kemi Badenoch has declared relatively little in the way of donors to date, aside from having her ticket to a Tory Party fundraiser last November paid by Hintze, and £26,755.20 worth of legal research on online abuse from branding consultant Jeremy Hildreth.
But she has received the backing of Michael Gove, who may be able to assist given he was handed £100,000 from property developer Zak Gertler in August 2021, and £20,000 from Aberdeen-based property tycoon Alan Massie in May 2021.
Priti Patel has not yet announced she's running, but if she does, she has been given £140,000 since February 2022: £100,000 from venture capital firm Andurand Ventures, and £40,000 from the directors of investment management firm Njord Partners.
Win Back Trust with Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt is back again for another pop at the top job. The former foreign secretary has not declared any donations in the past year to build up a war chest in advance.
Insider has asked Alexander Temerko if he'll be backing him again, after the two had lunch earlier this year.
Suella 4 Leader
Suella Braverman has had no donations in the past year, but she's previously been supported by telecommunications business boss Darren Ridge.
Otherwise there is little in the way of apparent financial support to run a campaign, though she has been backed by Tory MP Richard Drax, believed to be worth more than £150 million.
Sajid Javid earned almost £150,000 from JP Morgan from August 2020 to June 2021, another £113,000 from C3.ai, and nine months worth of C3.ai shares worth £45,000 per month.
He's also previously been supported by Tory donor Lord Rami Ranger, so even if he's not commissioned a brand new leadership bid film, he's certainly got the earnings to do so.
Team Saj told Insider funding would "all be declared in usual way in due course".
Please get in touch with Insider if there's anything secretly damning hidden in Rehman Chishti's entry in the register of members' interests that might stop a campaign that has barely begun, with Chishti yet to receive the public endorsement of any MPs other than, presumably, himself.