They Think It’s All Over – Can The Tories Turn It Round?

Published in the Mail on Sunday on 27 November 2022.

Ask a group of people who’ve previously voted Tory about what they felt when they heard Rishi Sunak was to become PM and the chances are someone will say “relief”.

There are plenty of doubts – about his ability to empathise with voters given his family’s wealth, his role in Boris Johnson’s downfall, and some of the Covid bailouts he unveiled as chancellor – but many welcome the return of some sanity to politics and sense to the public finances.

Read more … 

In The Shadows book launch speech.

Speech made on 15 November 2022.

Watch the speech Lord Ashcroft made at the official launch of his latest book, In The Shadows: The extraordinary men and women of the Intelligence Corps, in London on 15 November 2022.

Watch in full:

In The Shadows

With a Foreword by Lord Hague of Richmond.

The Intelligence Corps is one of the smallest and most secretive elements of the British Army. It has existed in various guises since the early twentieth century, but it was only formally constituted in July 1940. In this book, Michael Ashcroft tells the astonishing stories of some of its most courageous and ingenious figures, who have operated all over the world from the First World War to the present day.

Whether carrying out surveillance work on the street, monitoring and analysing communications, working on overseas stakeouts, receiving classified information from a well-placed contact or interrogating the enemy in the heat of war, a hugely diverse range of people have served in the Corps, often supplementing their individual professional skills with original thinking and leadership in the name of the Crown. This book pays tribute to them and shows why, in the words of the 1st Duke of Marlborough, ‘No war can be conducted successfully without early and good intelligence.’

The heroines who outfoxed our most deadly foes: The undercover ‘laundry woman’ who spied on the IRA, the corporal who waged psychological warfare on the Taliban.

Serialisation in The Daily Mail on 07 November 2022.

For more than a century, men and women in the British Army’s most secretive section, the Intelligence Corps, have pulled off exceptional feats across the world.

But the clandestine nature of their operations means they often don’t get the recognition they deserve. (more…)

The note left for Nazi high command that epitomises the sheer audacity of Britain’s unsung Intelligence Corps

Serialisation in The Mail On Sunday on 06 November 2022.

In an abridged extract from In The Shadows, author and historian LORD ASHCROFT chronicles the British Army’s most secretive section.

They operate in the shadows, the men and women of the British Army’s most secretive section, the Intelligence Corps.

For more than a century, they have brought their very distinctive type of courage, judgment, skill and resourcefulness to pull off exceptional feats all over the world on their country’s behalf – yet, because of the clandestine nature of their work, doing so often without the recognition they deserve. (more…)

See the November issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The November issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Staff Sergeant Peter Herlick Rene Naya MM, who showed outstanding bravery during the Falklands War of 1982. (more…)

Political Holdings acquires Media, Events and Training brands from Merit Group

Press release – 27 October 2022.

Political Holdings – a UK-based media group specialising in current affairs, politics and government – has agreed to acquire a range of Media, Events and Training operations from Merit Group plc, the data and intelligence business, for £4.5m.

The Political Holdings group currently consists of Biteback Publishing (Britain’s leading current affairs publisher), Campaigns & Elections (the non-partisan, non-ideological go-to resource for campaign professionals in the US and Mexico) and ConservativeHome (the UK’s premier independent conservative news and analysis site). (more…)

Merit Group plc announces sale of Media, Events and Training operations to Political Holdings Limited

Press release – 27 October 2022.

Merit Group plc (AIM: MRIT), the data and intelligence business, announces that it has agreed to sell the Media, Events and Training operations of its Dods Political Engagement business (together, the “MET Operations”) to Political Holdings Limited, a private company owned by Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, for a cash consideration of £4.5 million (the “Disposal”).

In the year ending 31 March 2022, the MET Operations generated revenue of £9.3 million and an adjusted EBITDA of approximately £0.5 million, with net assets of £0.5 million as at 31 March 2022. (more…)

The Prime Minister who was marked out for greatness by his teachers aged just 13

Published in The Daily Mail on 25 October 2022.

Rishi Sunak’s elevation to the top of British politics comes as little surprise to me. In 2020, shortly after Boris Johnson appointed him Chancellor of the Exchequer, I wrote a book about his life and career.

It was clear from the scores of people who contributed that Sunak is a man of many talents. Clever, hard-working, decent and disciplined, he is one of the few MPs in the present House of Commons with the ability to steer the nation through these stormy times. (more…)

When Rishi Sunak met Akshata Murty: the birth of a power couple

Published in The Times on 24 October 2022.

The new prime minister went to Stanford University to study for an MBA — but it’s also where he met his future wife, this exclusive extract reveals.

In a five-bedroom bungalow on a street named La Jennifer Way, a company that would change the world was just beginning to take shape. The year was 2004 and the unremarkable property with a small swimming pool that took up most of the backyard was in Silicon Valley, a part of California that was rapidly becoming synonymous with revolutionary business start-ups. Among the occupants of the house was one Mark Zuckerberg, who along with his housemates was busy building a company called Facebook. Before long, he would be one of the richest men on Earth. (more…)

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