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255. Heron House, Ark, Stanley Fink Tory treasurer, on Labour (Gives Interview From David Cameron's Office)

255. Heron House, Ark, Stanley Fink Tory treasurer, on Labour (Gives Interview From David Cameron's Office)

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Heron House, Ark, Stanley Fink & Tories (Gives Interview From David Cameron's Office)
Heron House, Ark, Stanley Fink & Tories (Gives Interview From David Cameron's Office)

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Published by: John Adam St Gang: Crown Control on Feb 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Sunday 21 February 2010 |Conservative feedLog in|Register now
HomeNewsSport Finance Lifestyle Comment Travel Culture Technology Fashion
UKWorldUK PoliticsCelebritiesObituariesWeirdEarthScienceHealth NewsEducationTopicsNews BlogsNews Video
General Election 2010Labour PartyConservative PartyLiberal Democrat PartyGordon BrownDavid CameronMPs' Expenses
New Tory Treasurer Stanley Fink plans to'blow Labour out of water'
Stanley Fink was once spotted on his hands and knees at the edge of a golf course laketrying to retrieve a
1.50 golf ball that was agonisingly out of reach in the water.
By Andrew Porter, Political EditorPublished: 9:30PM GMT 16 Jan 2009Strange behaviour from a man worth hundreds of millions. And yet in thesefrugal times it is the sort of approach that the new co-Treasurer of the ToryParty is likely to need.He was until recently one of the top hedge fund managers in the City. Talking to
The Telegraph 
in David Cameron's office in Conservative HQ he is now sittingalongside, Michael Spencer, another City star, who has been Tory Treasurer fortwo years.They explain their task. It is simple, but daunting.Mr Spencer says: "On the assumption that theelection will be next year, we need to raise the bestpart of
40million this year. That's a hell of a lot ofmoney."To keep the Conservative Party running each year heneeds to find
15 million, and then around
18 millionon top to fight the election. He says that last yeararound 50,000 people donated in some form andpoints to wider income streams.A weekly lottery draw
1 a ticket
raised morethan
20,000 last year, as did direct mail appeals.On top of that Mr Spencer holds two set pieceparties
the Black and White Ball and the SummerParty. These are both events that Mr Spencer, arenowned lover of the party scene and decent glassof wine, clearly enjoys, but also knows are vital.In recent years the Cameron brand has made his life easier. A younger,fashionable following has gravitated to these gatherings although the largesse ofthose attending is likely to be less now after the financial crisis that hasdevastated the City.
Lord Michael Spencer (left) and Stanley Fink , the new Tory treasurer
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That is why Mr Spencer, who was the 62nd richest person in the country lastyear with wealth totalling
1,150 million, and his new side-kick are suddenlycoming over a bit Bob Geldof when issuing a rallying call to Tory supporters ifthey really want to see the back of Gordon Brown."Our sell to our supporters is that you may think we are likely to win a nextelection from reading the opinion polls but we need your bloody money to makesure that we don't just win, we win in a fashion that gives David, George and theteam the authority and the political ability to implement the changes that arenecessary."The task is clearly not to achieve victory, but to achieve a decent victory, with asignificant majority.He is in no doubt that raising cash after the momentous events of the past sixmonths is tougher."Even though our supporters are behind us, clearly many of them havesuffered," he said. "We're dependent a lot upon entrepreneurs and businesspeople, financial people or property people. They've all had a bloody roughtwelve months and the next twelve months isn't promising to look any rosier. I'vehad a pretty rough time so the fundraising is not easy and in that context."George Osborne's ill-fated meeting with a Russian oligarch on his yacht offCorfu has also not helped, according to Mr Spencer. The furore over a
50,000donation that was offered to the Tories through Oleg Deripaska's UK companyhas had a serious knock-on effect.Mr Spencer says: "It was a big problem for us. We had a treasury meeting twodays ago and one of our historic donors who's due for renewal said and I quote'it was the worst thing I did from the publicity point of you was giving you guysmoney last year. I still support David but from a publicity point of view it was theworst thing I did.'"He says he is fully in favour of "transparency" and defends the motives ofdonors."They're doing it because they really want a change in government and theysupport David Cameron and they believe the cause is good for the country andpresumably good for them. We're not handing out goodies with it."Do donors agree with all Mr Cameron's policies? In a week when the Toriesopposed the building of a third runway at Heathrow, Mr Spencer has aninteresting observation that will undoubtedly lead to suggestions that the Toryposition - opposing a big business lobby - is not entirely a united one."Clearly not every single member of the donor club supports every single policythat we espouse," he said. "An obvious one would be the third runway atHeathrow. I wouldn't say that that is universally supported by all of our financialsupporters but nevertheless they realise that the issues are bigger than a singleissue."The Tories are likely to say that it shows that money can't buy you influence.Unlike Labour where Mr Spencer repeatedly points out that Labour gave theunions their pay off in two "Warwick Agreements" in return for bankrolling thecash-strapped party.If the unions and their role are despised by the Tories then Labour's own hatefigure is Lord Ashcroft. The former party treasurer and billionaire donor is keythe Tories winning power. After the last election he brutally explained where theparty had been going wrong. Labour think he is bankrolling the party.Mr Spencer admits that he was the biggest donor - through his company - lastyear, but adds: "it made up only 6 per cent of the total."He says: "Strictly speaking, from our point of view, it's not Lord Ashcroft whogives us the money it's the corporate vehicle, Bearwood Corporate Serviceswhich is completely compliant. I don't think there's any question about thecompliancy of the issue at all."He's done a very professional job in the target seats campaign. There's notpoint in channelling money if it's a bankers certainty or it's a no hoper. Let'sfocus our money in the band where we think we've got the maximum return andclearly that band moves. If we move way ahead in the opinion polls we're goingto further out constituencies. If our opinion poll lead is bugger all then we movethe parameters back. All that Ashcroft has done is proper polling, properunderstanding of the issues and proper targeting of the allocation."The plan to raise the money over 18 months is of course predicated on theelection not being called until next year.Do the money men have a plan if an election is called in the next few months?Could they raise the cash that quickly? Worryingly for Labour, they do.
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