Boris Johnson has received a £20,000 donation from Robin Birley, a former UKIP donor whose Mayfair club recently hosted a meeting between Nigel Farage and a member of Johnson’s team, according to the latest register of MPs’ interests.
Birley is the owner of Annabel’s, a private members’ club in Mayfair that costs £1,875 a year to join. He previously donated £268,000 to what was then Nigel Farage’s UKIP, and recently attended a fundraising dinner for alt-right group Turning Point UK that was addressed by the now Brexit Party leader.
The donation follows a report in the Daily Mail that Priti Patel MP, a member of Boris Johnson’s team, met with Nigel Farage, Arron Banks and DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr. at Birley’s 5 Hertford Street club in Mayfair to discuss the prospect of an electoral pact.
The donation was revealed in the latest Register of Interests as Conservative members are set to begin voting in their party’s leadership contest.
Commenting, Guto Bebb MP, the former defence minister and a leading Conservative supporter of a People’s Vote, said:
“This disclosure is further evidence of the bonds that get ever-tighter between Boris Johnson’s campaign and the extreme Brexit project championed by Nigel Farage and Arron Banks. There are some of my colleagues who still hope that a Prime Minister Johnson could still turn out to be the liberal pro-European figure he once appeared to be. But the likes of Mr Birley are investing in a very different candidate and we should all remember one of the rules of politics is to ‘follow the money’.”
Notes to editors:
- Boris Johnson received a £20,000 donation from Robin Birley on 5 June.
Register of Interests, 1 July 2019, https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/190701/Updates%20-%2018%20June%20-%201%20July%202019.pdf
- The Daily Mail has reported that Priti Patel met with Nigel Farage at Robin Birley’s Mayfair club Annabel’s.
- Birley has donated £268,000 to UKIP.
Electoral Commission, retrieved 3 July 2019, https://bit.ly/2xvSJz2
- Birley recently attended a £180-a-head fundraiser for alt-right group Turning Point UK which was addressed by Nigel Farage and the group’s US founder.
Turning Point UK, YouTube, 25 June 2019, https://youtu.be/oAMTLe4-Huw?t=359
- Birley was also present at Turning Point UK’s launch.
Mappin introduced Kirk and Owens at the RAC event in December. Cohosting that night were businessman Peter Southall and Lord Tyrone Plunket. Among the guests were Rod Liddle, the Sunday Times columnist; Will Tanner, a former special adviser to Theresa May; Andy Wigmore, the former communications director of Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign; the businessman and former UKIP donor Robin Birley…
BuzzFeed, 8 February 2019, https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexspence/pro-trump-turning-point-loses-star-activists