Lord Ashcroft is an international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster
By Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC
This website explains who I am, what I do, what I believe in and how to contact me.
After more than 40 years as an entrepreneur working in both the UK and overseas, particularly the US, I am an active investor in new companies and ideas. At various points in my business career, I have headed companies employing more than 100,000 people. Over the years, I have negotiated countless major deals, including the sale of ADT to Tyco International for more than $6.7 billion (£3.7 billion) in 1997. See my Business page for more details.
I am a lifelong supporter of the Conservative Party. In 2000, I was knighted and became a member of the House of Lords (Lord Ashcroft of Chichester, KCMG). I served as Treasurer of the Conservative Party, under William Hague’s leadership, from 1998 to 2001. I continue to be Treasurer of the International Democrat Union.
Between December 2005 and September 2010, I was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, with special responsibility for the target seats campaign and opinion research. Since the 2010 general election I have continued to conduct political polling, publishing the results at Lord Ashcroft Polls. My research has looked in detail attitudes to public policy issues, the prospects for each party, perceptions of political leaders, and the state of play in the marginal seats that determine the outcome of elections. This work is widely quoted in the media and respected across the political spectrum (I have been described as “the nation’s pollster-in-chief” by the New Statesman and as “The Pollfather” by the political editor of the Daily Mirror).
In May 2011, I was appointed as lead advisor on a Government review of military bases on Cyprus. In September 2012, I was appointed a member of the Privy Council and was made the Government’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition, working with all departments to ensure military personnel receive the support they need when making the move to civilian life.
I support a wide range of charities, including those dealing with crime prevention and education. I am the Founder and Chairman of Crimestoppers, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in Essex and the Chairman of Trustees of the Ashcroft Technology Academy in south London. I am also a Trustee of the Cleveland Clinic in the US and an Ambassador for SkillForce, a charity that works in schools to inspire young people to succeed. Details of other charities that I support can be found elsewhere on this site.
Over the years, I have donated tens of millions of pounds to good causes. In May 2013, I signed up to The Giving Pledge, thereby making a public commitment to donate more than half my wealth to charity. You can read more about this pledge elsewhere on this site.
Over the past three decades, I have collected more than 180 Victoria Crosses (VCs), the largest collection of such decorations in the world. I am passionate in my belief that our country owes an enormous debt of gratitude to these heroes. In November 2010, this collection was put on public display for the first time at the Imperial War Museum London in a purpose-built gallery. The new Lord Ashcroft Gallery, which was opened by HRH The Princess Royal, also exhibits VCs and George Crosses already in the care of the Imperial War Museum. In November 2013, I unveiled a new website www.lordashcroftmedals.com giving detailed information on every VC in my collection.
In 2009, I was appointed as Vice-Patron of the Intelligence Corps Museum in Bedfordshire and, in 2010, I became a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum Foundation. Furthermore, in 2012, I became a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum itself.
I have written eight books. Dirty politics Dirty times, first published in 2005 and updated in 2009, is a biographical account of my successful battles against The Times newspaper and New Labour, and their ultimately unsuccessful attempts to discredit me and destabilise the Conservative Party. My five books on gallantry – Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies and Special Ops Heroes – tell of my lifelong interest in valour and reveal the extraordinary stories behind the gallantry medals in my collection. I was invited to talk about my passion for bravery and my books at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Smell The Coffee is my study of public opinion in the run-up to the 2005 general election, in which I called for the Conservative Party to change in order to return to government. Minority Verdict gives my critical analysis of the Conservative Party’s 2010 election campaign.
In March 2015, I resigned from the House of Lords after concluding that my other activities did not permit me to devote the time that membership of the Lords properly required.