2) Lord Sainsbury – £540 Million
Sainsbury is the great-grandson of the grocers, John Sainsbury and Mary Staples, the founders of the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. Between 1992 and 1997 he served as Chair of Sainsbury’s.
His political involvement dates back to his membership of the Labour Party in the 1960s before changing allegiances to the Social Democratic Party in the 1980s. Sainsbury rejoined the Labour Party after the collapse of the SDP. He was made a life peer after Labour’s landslide victory in 1997, serving as a government minister between 1998 and 2006. In that time he donated £12 million to the Labour Party.
1) Lord Ashcroft – £1.2 Billion
Lord Ashcroft is by far the richest politician to feature on our list. He holds dual British and Belizean nationality and is a renowned international business man having made his fortune through a number of investments.
Ashcroft first became involved in UK politics as a major donor and Treasurer of the Conservative Party during William Hague’s leadership. He was made a peer by Hague in 2000 and later served as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party between 2005 and 2010. His resignation from the role coincided with the publishing of a document critical of the party’s 2010 election campaign.