Nigel Farage’s U.K. Independence Party took a 500,000 pound ($769,000) donation from a company chaired by Christopher Mills, co-founder of JO Hambro Capital Management.
Growth Financial Services Ltd. made the pledge in the week through April 19, data from Britain’s Electoral Commission made public before next week’s general election show. About 1.5 million pounds were funneled both toward UKIP and the Labour Party, while the Conservatives took about 1.1 million pounds and the Liberal Democrats got 75,000 pounds, data show.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who once wrote off UKIP as “a bunch of fruitcakes, loonies, and closet racists,” faced with rising support for Farage’s party, has vowed to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. A potential exit threatens to undermine the City of London, as the U.K.’s financial district is known, which is home to banks including Barclays Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc.
Among the donations that were made public on Thursday are 100,000 pounds from Marathon Asset Management co-founder Jeremy Hosking and 10,000 pounds from former Lazard International Chairman Ken Costa to the Conservative party.
The Labour party awards include 600,000 pounds from Britain’s GMB union, 25,000 pounds from Canary Wharf Group Plc and 20,000 pounds from comedian Eddie Izzard.
UKIP also received a 1 million-pound donation from Northern & Shell Media Group Ltd., the publisher of the Express newspaper owned by Richard Desmond.
Miliband, who has spooked the City with plans to crack down on tax breaks used by private-equity funds and impose a levy on bankers’ bonuses, remains neck-and-neck with Cameron in the polls. While Farage is trailing behind, he’s still ahead of Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.
Chris Rokos, a former top trader and co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management, was the biggest individual donor to Britain’s Conservative Party in a list of pledges published for the week through April 12. He made a 170,000-pound donation this month. The Labour party the same week got 22,000 pounds from former Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. partner Clive Hollick.
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s former U.K. head of investment banking, Michael Tory, was the biggest donor to the Conservatives in the first list of pledges made public before the election, according to data for the week through April 5.
Tory, who co-founded advisory boutique Ondra Partners in 2008 after Lehman collapsed in the financial crisis, gave 75,000 pounds to Cameron’s party last month.
The Electoral Commission, which records British political donations, plans to publish one more set of data before the vote. The nation’s major parties must report donations and loans of more than 7,500 pounds.