Latest Posts

Is Car Insurance Mandatory for Used Cars? Here’s What You Need to Know

Used cars are often preferred by new drivers. Easy maintenance, lighter on the wallet, slower rate of depreciation, lower registration and insurance charges, lower...

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Group Insurance Cover

With mounting costs of medical treatments, a health insurance policy needs no second thought. In fact, health insurance plans have become a primary way...

How to Get the Best Personal Loan in 2021

Wondering how to finance your foreign degree, a dream wedding, big purchases like a branded laptop, or an emergency? Apply for an instant personal...

Finding Houses For Your New Property Business

Last time we looked at Market studies, one of the subjects to be researched turned into houses that might be present to be had...

Andrea Leadsom’s financial affairs under scrutiny again

Andrea Leadsom has already faced questions about her ownership of a buy-to-let company and political donations by her brother-in-law, an offshore hedge fund boss.

Her financial affairs are being pored over again now that Leadsom has emerged as a frontrunner in the Conservative party leadership contest.

5568

The energy minister, a City banker and fund manager before entering politics, started a buy-to-let company called Bandal Limited with her husband in 2003. The company bought three houses in Oxford with mortgages from the Jersey branch of Kleinwort Benson, a private bank specializing in wealthy clients.

The latest accounts for Bandal show the business-owned properties valued by the company at £1.6m and had cash in the bank of £440,000. The market values for the homes may be much higher, however. According to the property website Zoopla, one of the Bandal houses in Surrey is worth £960,000.

The stories you need to read, in one handy email

About the same time, Leadsom was winding down her career in the City and was starting in politics as a councilor in Oxfordshire.

Two years after Bandal was set up, a quarter of its shares were transferred to Leadsom Children’s Settlement, which was registered to the family home in Moulsford, Oxfordshire. Many tax experts have pointed out such family settlements are commonly used to avoid inheritance tax.

After the business attracted some press attention two years ago in the wake of Leadsom’s appointment as treasury minister, Leadsom stood down as a director, replaced by her son Frederick, then an 18-year-old student. Her shares, meanwhile, were transferred to her husband Ben, an investment banker. Mortgages with Kleinwort Benson were repaid.

The Northamptonshire South MP told a local newspaper: “Bandal Ltd is a totally UK company that is eligible for tax on all its profit. There is no offshore element of Bandal Ltd, and there are no tax avoidance schemes.”

Two months later, however, Leadsom was facing more uncomfortable questions about her family’s business affairs, this time relating to her brother-in-law Peter De Putron, an offshore hedge fund manager, who has given generously to the Conservative party, including to Leadsom’s own campaign.

In total, he has made donations to Leadom’s election campaign and other Tories totaling more than £800,000. On top of that, De Putron has gifted a further £1m to a right-wing thinktank and a Conservative-backed campaign against switching from a first past the post electoral system to proportional representation.

According to her entry in Whom’s Who, the Leadsoms and De Patrons are close, and the Tory energy minister even worked for De Putron’s hedge fund in the 1990s.

De Putron has remained highly active as a Tory party donor. Donations to UK political parties from the Channel Islands are banned, but he could legally make payments through UK-registered companies.

The main De Putron-controlled company used for Tory donations was known as Gloucester Research, though it changed its name to GR Software & Research five years ago, and the Bloomsbury-based firm is now being wound up.

Leadsom’s husband was a director of GR Software for many years. Still, a spokesman for the minister told the Guardian in 2014 that she had not been aware of the extent of De Putron’s political donations.

“Andrea was not aware of the size of donations made by UK companies controlled by Peter de Putron to the Conservative party and has never been involved in any way,” he said. “She has not benefited personally from these donations and does not believe they have affected her career in any way.”

Latest Posts

Is Car Insurance Mandatory for Used Cars? Here’s What You Need to Know

Used cars are often preferred by new drivers. Easy maintenance, lighter on the wallet, slower rate of depreciation, lower registration and insurance charges, lower...

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Group Insurance Cover

With mounting costs of medical treatments, a health insurance policy needs no second thought. In fact, health insurance plans have become a primary way...

How to Get the Best Personal Loan in 2021

Wondering how to finance your foreign degree, a dream wedding, big purchases like a branded laptop, or an emergency? Apply for an instant personal...

Finding Houses For Your New Property Business

Last time we looked at Market studies, one of the subjects to be researched turned into houses that might be present to be had...

Don't Miss

Planes, trains and automobiles: what transport has Hollywood forgotten?

Bicycles Premium Rush is a strange anomaly in bicycle movies because it deals with the reality of urban cycling. Every journey involves zipping between objects...

Google, Apple and Microsoft race to bring software to cars

Will buying a car soon involve questioning whether it is compatible with your smartphone? Google has announced a new "Open Automotive Alliance" (OAA), teaming...

Automobiles at Olympia

This year's show of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders at Olympia certainly surpasses its predecessors in the excellence of artistry and the...

Trains, buses and automobiles

Londoners have a tempestuous relationship with transport, and Ken Livingstone will be an outlet for their anger or gratitude come May 1. Whatever you...

The Automobile Club of Egypt by Alaa al-Aswany review – a country on the brink of violent change

In the days before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February 2011, Alaa al-Aswany, dentist, novelist, and founder member of the democratic movement...

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.