WEALTHY Asians gave more than £1.68 million to the three main political parties in the first quarter of the year ahead of last month’s election, with the Tories receiving the largest cash injection.
In total, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour parties were handed £1,686,277 by Asian donors between January and April in the run-up to the tightest fought general election in a generation.
The largest cash sum of £371,800, handed to the Conservative party, came from mobile network company Lycamobile, founded by Sri Lankan Subaskaran Allirajah.
The telecoms entrepreneur is worth £310 million and ranked number 27 in EE’s Asian Rich List 2015.
He is known to be part of the elite Tory Leaders Club, where donors enjoy private food and drinks parties with the prime minister and other cabinet members, in return for at least £500,000 annually.
Figures from the Electoral Commission showed that Asian supporters of the Conservative party were the most generous, giving the Tories just under £817,040.
Labour, which was badly defeated on May 7, received £551,625 from Asian donors, while the Liberal Democrats were offered £314,612.
Dinesh Dhamija, founder of Ebookers, the first online travel agency in the UK, made a generous donation of £255,000 to the Liberal Democrats in the first quarter of 2015.
That took his total contribution to the party’s coffers to £500,0000, following a previous gift in November 2014. Dhamija, who is valued at £130 million, and featured in the Asian Rich List 2015 at number 55, previously donated a total of £62,495 to the Conservatives in 2010 and 2013.
He told Eastern Eye: “I was giving money to the Conservatives. I was a member of the Leaders Club, and the Conservatives were moving to the right because a lot of people were deserting them to go to UKIP.
“The Conservatives were trying to appease some of the UKIP demands so supporters could come back, which means the left side, where I was, was left [behind], so I decided to go towards the Lib Dems.” Other wealthy donors include Labour peer Lord Sushanta Bhattacharyya, who gave the party £205,100 and Lord Waheed Alli, chairman of Koovs, an Indian fashion website.
Lord Alli, worth £65 million and former chair of Asos, the UK online fashion firm, gave £115,000 to the Labour party. He had become the youngest Labour peer in 1998, when he entered the House of Lords at the age of 33.
Bestway Cash and Carry which is headed up by billionaire Sir Anwar Pervez, provided the Tories with £81,900. Sir Anwar, who is now 80 and worth £1.1 billion, ranked number 8 on the Asian Rich List 2015, published by the Asian Media and Marketing Group.
His nephew Zameer Choudrey, the chief executive of the company, was one of the leading business people who wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph newspaper backing the Tories ahead of the election and stating that a change in government would threaten jobs and deter investment.
*Lycamobile £371,800 UK Ltd (Subaskaran Allirajah)
*Bestway Cash £81,900 & Carry Ltd (Sir Anwar Pervez)
Mrs Narminda Marandi £80,000
Lord Dolar Popat £56,700
Ian Mukherjee £50,000
Abdul-Majid Jafar £31,932.80
Javad Marandi £30,000
Yakub Patel £29,000
Gajan Wallooppillai £17,342.14
*Sun Mark Ltd £13,000 (Dr Rami Ranger)
Arunasalam S Yogeswaran £10,000
Rajeev Misra £8,400
Ranbir S Suri £8,400
*Firoka £7,500 (Firoz Kassam)
Palminder Singh £5,000
Sulakhan Sahota £5,000
Sunil Mehra £4,500
Menashe Sadiq £3,000
British Tamil Conservatives £6,000
Gurdev Dadral £4,000
Conservative friends of Bangladesh £1,565
Dinesh Dhamija £255,000
The Kanta Foundation (Satish Chatwani) £10,000
Kanwar Banga £10,000
Rinku Loomba £5,000
Masud Mohammed £5,000
Mahmud Rogers £4,500
Abdul Malik £4,280.84
Sameena Bajwa £4,000
Naveeda Monawer £3,500
Shas Sheehan £3,681.60
Monica Gill £2,500
Yakub Patel £2,500
Nazir Jessa £2,000
Dipti Banerji £2,000
Shamique Ismail £2,000
Shaista Miah £1,650
Lord Sushanta Bhattacharyya £205,100
Lord Waheed Alli £115,000
Hamid Husain £100,000
Ashaf Chohan £62,500
Tej Lalvani £30,000
Kasim Gulzarl Ltd £21,000
Nagrecha Brothers £5,000
Manoj Ladwa £2,500
Kewel Randhawa £2,500
Yasran Yaseen £2,500
Irfan Patel £2,000
Rajni Swanney £2,000
Harry Patel £1,525
* Donations from companies