Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is an international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster
This website explains who Lord Ashcroft is, what he does, what he believes in and how to contact him.
Lord Ashcroft is a lifelong supporter of the Conservative Party. In 2000, he was knighted and made a life peer (Lord Ashcroft of Chichester KCMG). He served as Treasurer of the Conservative Party, under William Hague’s leadership, from 1998 to 2001. Between late 2005 and 2010, he was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, with special responsibility for the target seats campaign and opinion research.
Since the 2010 general election, Lord Ashcroft has continued to conduct political polling, publishing the results at Lord Ashcroft Polls. His research has looked in detail at 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 (he has 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). He also carries out extensive polling in the US.
In 2011, Lord Ashcroft was appointed as lead advisor on a Government review of military bases on Cyprus. In 2012, hew was appointed as a member of the Privy Council and was made the Prime Minister’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. He resigned this role in 2018.
In 2019, Lord Ashcroft was appointed Honorary Chairman of the International Democratic Union (IDU), an international alliance of centrist to centre-right parties. He had previously held the position of Treasurer of this group.
After nearly half a century as an entrepreneur working in both the UK and overseas, particularly the US, he is an active investor in new companies and ideas. At times during his business career, Lord Ashcroft has headed companies employing more than 100,000 people. Over the years, he has negotiated countless major deals, including the sale of ADT to Tyco International for more than $6.7 billion (then worth some £3.7 billion) in 1997. See his Business page for more details.
Lord Ashcroft support a wide range of charities, including those dealing with crime prevention and education. He is the Founder and Chairman of Crimestoppers, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in Essex, Chairman of Trustees of the Ashcroft Technology Academy in south London and a Trustee of the Cleveland Clinic in the US. Details of other charities that he supports can be found elsewhere on this site.
Lord Ashcroft has donated tens of millions of pounds to good causes. In May 2013, he signed up to The Giving Pledge, thereby making a public commitment to donate more than half of his wealth to charity. You can read more about this pledge elsewhere on this site.
He also campaigns vigorously on wildlife issues. He commissioned two undercover investigations into captive-bred lion “farming” in South Africa. His book, Unfair Game, published in June 2020, detailed his findings, along with his calls for cruel and sometimes illegal practices to be halted. In 2007, he intervened to try to prevent the Japanese government from overturning the ban on whale hunting. In conjunction with the Environmental Investigations Agency, a campaigning organisation, he commissioned a major advertising campaign to persuade six small Caribbean nations not to support Japan’s moves. In 2020, he wrote a major newspaper article criticising Norway, one of the world’s richest country, for continuing to hunt whales. In 2018, Lord Ashcroft highlighted the problems of rhino poaching in Africa by sponsoring a conservation project for military veterans in South Africa. In the past, he has also supported the Tusk Trust, set up to protect elephants and other African wildlife.
Over the past three decades, Lord Ashcroft has collected more than 200 Victoria Crosses (VCs), the largest collection of such decorations in the world. He is a passionate in his belief that our country owes an enormous debt of gratitude to these heroes. In late 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, Lord Ashcroft unveiled a new website www.lordashcroftmedals.com giving detailed information on every VC in his collection.
In 2009, he was appointed as Vice-Patron of the Intelligence Corps Museum in Bedfordshire. In 2012, he became a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum, a role he stepped down from in 2019.
In March 2015, he resigned from the House of Lords after concluding that his other activities did not permit him to devote the time that membership of the Lords properly required.
In 2016, Lord Ashcroft was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Knight Grand Cross of The Imperial Order of the Holy Trinity (Ethiopia). In 2017, he was made a Senior Fellow of the International Strategic Studies Association and in the same year became an Honorary Belize Rotarian. In 2018, he became a member of the editorial board of Britain and War magazine and is a former President of the West India Committee.
Lord Ashcroft has written 17 books, mainly on politics and bravery, and four of these books on gallantry have been made into television series. For full details of these and other publications, including his political pamphlets, see Publications.
Lord Ashcroft was invited to talk about his passion for bravery and his books at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2008, 2009 and 2012. He has also lectured extensively both in the UK and abroad on gallantry, along with some of his other major interests.