A major Conservative donor and boss of a high-interest loans company will be knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, as others who donated to the Conservatives during the election are also recognised.
Amid concerns that the Conservatives were “rewarding their donors with honours”, it emerged that the Swiss-born banker Sir Henry Angest, one of the party’s biggest financial backers and a former Tory treasurer, will receive a knighthood.
Sir Henry, whose honour was listed “for political service”, has channelled £7m to the Conservatives in loans and donations.
As chairman and chief executive of the Arbuthnot Banking Group, he is also behind Everyday Loans, a company offering loans to the public at an average interest rate of 74 per cent APR. The firm offers personal loans to people with bad credit ratings.
Also knighted will be Michael “Mick” Davis, whose donations to the Tories total £1.4m, and who gave £160,000 during the election. The Honours Committee said his knighthood was for his work chairing the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission.
Another Conservative donor, Jeremy Isaacs, who has given a total of £416,500, including £25,000 during the election, is appointed a CBE for his work with Imperial College NHS Trust in London.
As news of the honours emerged last night, the Labour MP Graham Jones claimed: “People will be rightly concerned if it emerges that the Tories are rewarding their donors with honours.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Party donations do not play any part in the honours selection process and would not be included in the citations considered by the independent committees. All nominations are judged entirely on merit and donating to a political party would not strengthen a case in any way, but neither would it preclude a candidate from receiving an honour.”