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Profiles of 20 candidates for The Brexit Party 2019 for London and Regions, including the South East
Note: These select profiles have been compiled using publicly-available sources including Companies House data, Bloomberg and media reports.
- The Brexit Party candidates reveal a common thread of a moneyed elite, big business and finance.
- Out of these 20 profiled candidates, 18 are company directors, 8 are bankers, 5 work in derivatives and hedge funds, ranking them among a metropolitan and business elite which the Brexit Party rhetoric repeatedly condemns.
- Questions should be asked about candidate credentials in providing leadership as UK representatives, their policies for the UK and Europe’s pressing problems and whether their motivations include serving the public interest.
- While in ordinary times, links to business and finance should not preclude someone wanting to serve the public interest, the agendas of anyone wanting to assume positions of power should today be subject to special scrutiny.
- The significance of candidates being involved with hedge funds or derivatives is that these sectors of the financial industry were the ones who profited from the Brexit turmoil, by betting on Sterling’s collapse and downturns in British firms, and they will have access to the money and mechanisms to do so again. A further significance is that these organisations are known to oppose EU attempts to regulate the hedge fund industry.
- Conflicts of interest mean these candidates, if elected, could use their positions as MEPs in the European Parliament to advance or thwart legislation that affect their substantial financial interests.
- Two of the candidates are directors of Leave Means Leave, the organisation promoting a hard (WTO) Brexit. Another is a director of the Leave group Veterans for Britain which received donations from Arron Banks and from Leave.eu. Others have links to far right groups which are already fomenting tensions, such as the American right-wing youth group, Turning Point; the website Westmonster, and UK organisations such as the Tax Payers’ Alliance
- Some candidates are personal friends and associates of Mr Farage.
Connections to Leave campaign and associated groups
John Longworth, 61, standing in Yorkshire and Humber. He is a director with Richard Tice of the hard Brexit Leave Means Leave campaign. He was was on the Vote Leave Business Council. He is a business consultant, and was director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce from September 2011 until March 2016 when he left due to a difference of opinion over Brexit. He was until 2016/17 a director of soft-drink manufacturer Nichols plc and the UK-India Business council.
Richard James Sunley Tice, 54, standing in East of England. Together with Arron Banks, he is one of the founders of Leave.eu, which has been fined by the Electoral Commission with regard to illegalities in the 2016 Referendum campaign. He is co-director with John Longworth, candidate in Yorkshire and Humber, of the hard-Brexit backing Leave Means Leave group. In May 2019, he was appointed to the board of the Brexit Party
He is chief executive of Mayfair-based asset management group Quidnet Capital Partners LLP, which has around £500 million of property under management. Prior to joining Quidnet, he was CEO of real estate group CLS Holdings, a multi-national property investment group with over £1 billion of assets. Whilst in that role, he led the planning applications for two 50 storey residential towers in Vauxhall. He is said to be friendly with Leave-supporting Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey. He has announced that he will set up a £100 million investment fund for commercial property outside London, post-Brexit. According to the Bad Boys of Brexit website, some of his property developments have attracted controversy. He has made his money over 30 years in the international property business , and was previously chief executive of Sunley Group, a privately held property development company. He is the grandson of the property developer Bernard Sunley.
Roger Lane Nott, 74, standing in the South West. He is a director of Veterans for Britain which strongly advocates leaving the EU. Veterans for Britain received funding from Arron Banks, and from Leave.eu. He was previously a Royal Navy Rear Admiral. Since retiring from the Navy, he has worked for Formula 1 motorsport and served as chief executive of the The Industry Technology Facilitator, (previously known as Centre for Marine and Petroleum Technology). According to his Linked In page, for the Agricultural Engineers Association, a trade group which serves the interests of, among others, tractor manufacturers. Companies House records state that he has been a director of two other trade bodies, the Association Of Manufacturers Of Power Generating Systems and the Milking Equipment Association Limited. He resigned from all of these in 2014.
George Thomas Stahel Farmer, 29, standing in the South East. Farmer is Head of Turning Point UK, a far right student pressure group originally founded in the US. He is engaged to Candace Owens, communications director of the US Turning Point. He is a commodities trader & co-director with his father of Red Kite Capital Management LLP – $2.3-billion hedge fund trading in metal – said to control 87% of the copper traded at the London Metals Exchange. At Oxford, he was a member of the Bullingdon club. His father is Lord Michael Farmer, known as Lord Copper, former Tory Treasurer and donor.
James Bartholomew, 69, standing in the South East. His own company, the Museum of Communist Terror, lists as its directors Chloe Westley (Tax Payers’ Alliance), Roger Scruton, Daniel Hannan (Conservative MEP and Brexiteer), and Thomas Borwick (former chief technology officer for Vote Leave, previously of Cambridge Analytica).
Michael Heaver, 29, standing in the East of England. He is co-director of Westmonster, the Leave-backing website funded by Arron Banks, that publishes material from American alt-right. The other director is Liz Bliney, a director of Leave.eu.
A Moneyed Elite
Robert Andrew Rowland, 53, standing in the South East. He is a hedge fund manager, who previously worked at Odey Asset Management, the firm of Brexit-backer Crispin Odey (who gave £900,000 to the Leave campaign and then made over £200 million betting on the devaluation of the pound). Rowland is Director of Bowdon Capital he is set to launch a new hedge fund soon, according to Hedgemaven. Mr Rowland’s American wife runs a Chelsea celebrity hair salon. He is also a director of Digme Fitness and Tickets for Troops (Samantha Cameron is a patron).
Matthew Peter Taylor, 56, standing in the South East. He is a private equity specialist with 22 years in investment banking. He is Managing Partner, Rockpool Investments LLP (Nicola Horlick is also a director). Rockpool services include inheritance tax planning. From 2001 – 2011 he was director at the venture capital firm Foresight Group LLP, which has offices in the Shard.
Paul Joseph Hearn, 61, standing in the East of England. He is a former banker . He has held directorships with Mizuho International Plc, a Japanese firm which provides corporate investment banking services, in the UK, including derivatives trading. He has also been a director of Structured Credit America Ltd . He has previously been a director of the International Primary Market Association, which was the trade association for international investment banks in their capacity as underwriters and managers of debt and equity – now merged into the International Capital Market Association (ICMA). He is currently named as a director of ABF The Soldier’s Charity.
Rupert James Graham Lowe, 62, standing in West Midlands. He had a long career in banking and financial services. His Bloomberg profile states that he has worked for a number international banking organisations. He was managing director at DBMG Futures and Options Limited, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. According to Companies House records, he is a director of the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) Administration and Management, and a slew of other companies. He has recently been appointed to the board of Proton Partners International, a company developing advanced cancer therapies. He is the former Chair of Southampton Football club and has been a director of both the Football Association and Wembley Stadium. He owns a farm in Gloucestershire. Rupert Lowe is connected to another Brexit Party candidate, Robert Rowland, as both are directors of Digme Fitness. Rupert Lowe stood for election as the Referendum Party candidate for Cotswold to the House of Commons in the 1997 general election. He is reported as having taken an active role in the 2016 Vote Leave campaign.
Graham Barry Shore, 63, standing in London. He is a corporate finance and private equity specialist. He is a director of Shore Capital, and a director of various Puma Venture Capital Trusts. He is also director of a string of other companies, including St. Peter Port Capital, an AIM-quoted fund. He was previously a consultancy partner of Touche Ross (now Deloitte LLP). According to the Companycheck website, the net worth of all the businesses of which he is a director, totals £62.8 million.
Simon Joel Solomon Marcus, standing in London, describes himself as a private investor , stock trader and political commentator. He describes his political views as centre right. He was founder of The Boxing Academy and has previously been a Conservative councillor in Camden. He ran as a Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn in 2015.
Mehrtash A’zami 66, standing in London. He is a corporate finance and management consultant and is based Tyne and Wear. He helps companies to list on the AIM and is interested in blockchain technologies. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (MCSI). He is a director of a handful of small companies, including the Cancer Healing and Research Trust, which names as a fellow-director Heather Bird Tchenguiz, ex-wife of billionaire property tycoon, Robert Tchenguiz.
Jake Pugh standing in Yorkshire and Humber, has 35 years’ experience in the capital markets and is an expert witness in complex capital markets law suits. He is an expert commentator on derivatives trading including on exchange operations and takeovers, as here, where he was a speaker at a specialist industry conference and in this article in the Financial Times. He stood as a candidate in the 1997 UK General Election. He tweets as @jake_pugh
Belinda De Camborne Lucy, 42, standing in the South East. Public records show her full name to be Belinda Claire De Camborne Lucy. She is also known as Belinda de Lucy or Belinda de Lucy Mckeeve or Belinda Camborne. Her Companies House records state ‘full time mother’. Belinda appeared in a promotional video for the Leave campaign. She is married to Raymond McKeeve, corporate finance partner and private equity specialist at international law firm Jones Day, who sits on the MoD’s Defence Reform Unit. She is a Director of charity Give us time, founded by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. She has been pictured at high society functions with Lady Kitty Spencer, daughter of Earl Charles Spencer and a cousin of Prince William. Lady Kitty Spencer is also a director of Give us Time.
Benyamin Naeem Habib, 53, standing in London. He is a property developer and investor in international companies, including EU countries like Poland (where he has registered 43 companies) and Romania. He is a director of a string of companies in the UK many of which are property companies. He founded First Group plc and is currently its chief executive officer. According to the Companycheck website, the companies of which Benyamin Habib is a director have a combined total net worth of £97.6 million.
Gary Walter Harvey, 63, standing in the North West. He is President of MEL group, a British company in the international aviation and military sectors. He has been in the industry for 43 years, claiming to have risen from apprentice to chief executive, and is said to have driven the growth of the MEL Group. The company partners with the Ministry of Defence, BAE, and British Airways. ” He has a string of other directorships in SMEs in the aviation and engineering sectors.
Lance Philip Anisfeld, 57, standing in London. He is also known as Lance Forman, is a London businessman dealing in smoked salmon and caviar and chair of H.Forman and Son the upmarket fish vendor and luxury restaurant. He is described by the Daily Mail as a ‘smoked salmon millionaire’. He is co-director, with his wife, Rene Maxine Anisfeld, of a number of companies comprising the business. The global companies database reports one of his companies, Forman Field Ltd, as having £3 million in assets. He claims to speak for small businesses, and helped 284 small companies who were facing eviction in 2006 to make way for the 2012 London Olympics. Together with his wife, he is patron of this charity supporting terrorist victims in Israel .
Matthew Richard Patten, 57, standing in the East Midlands. He is a company director and businessman who has held a string of directorships and is currently listed as a director of West Sussex Agri Ltd . He has previously been a director of international advertising and sports sponsorship agency M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment Limited and deputy chairman of SP Holdings Limited, a sports marketing agency with clients like Rio Ferdinand, Williams F1 and Leeds United FC. He currently describes himself as a charity director. His Linked In page lists a number of charities including the Mayors Fund for London.
Annunziata Mary Rees-Mogg, 40, standing in East Midlands. She is the sister of the British right-wing Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg. Their father was the former Times Editor William Rees-Mogg who also wrote books about disaster capitalism and how to profit from chaos. She is reported to be independently wealthy, was privately educated and drives a Bentley. She has written for the Daily Telegraph and for eurosceptic magazines. She is currently a director at Wild Search, a headhunter firm that recruits for senior roles in public affairs. In 2006, her then boyfriend fell to his death out of the 5th floor window of her flat on Pall Mall, while trying to climb a drain-pipe. She is well connected in the Conservative party and in 2010 attended a Republican Party Convention in Minnesota with the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. She has twice stood unsuccessfully as a Conservative candidate for the Westminster Parliament. However, she left the Tories to join The Brexit Party and stand for the 2019 European Parliament election.