Politics

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

By Lord Ashcroft

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.

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

By Lord Ashcroft

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

By Lord Ashcroft

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

By Lord Ashcroft

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…)

After a turbulent few weeks, where do Johnson – and Starmer – really stand with the voters?

By Lord Ashcroft

This week’s local elections take place against the backdrop of leadership plots and follow perhaps the most politically turbulent few months since the Brexit wars. My new research, including an 8,000-sample poll and focus groups with 2019 Conservatives in different types of seat throughout the country, shows how voters have reacted to the recent controversies and where Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer and their parties now stand in relation to the voters.

Partygate: is it over yet?

Just under half of all voters (47%) including nearly one in five 2019 Tories, said they thought “breaking the rules is a very serious matter, and Boris Johnson should resign”. This included more than 3 in 10 (31%) of those who switched from Labour to the Conservatives at the 2019 election.

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