The name’s Winter, Tom Winter: Meet the real-life war hero who inspired James Bond

First published in the Daily Express on 28 September 2021.

AS THE new 007 film, No Time To Die, is finally premiered, military historian Lord Ashcroft tells the story of the real-life war hero who inspired James Bond.

Even though there is no evidence Tom Winter liked his martini cocktails “shaken, not stirred”, the dashing Special Forces hero was a key real-life inspiration for Ian Fleming’s famous fictitious character. Winter was tall, dark, handsome and courageous – and he took part in some of the Allies’ most daring hit-and-run raids on enemy targets during the Second World War. Like James Bond, he had the knack of always emerging alive from the most dangerous of situations. (more…)

You will never fix the NHS by spraying it with cash like a crazed Formula 1 driver with a magnum of Moet

First published in The Mail on Sunday on 12 September 2021.

For millions of people on NHS waiting lists, the arrival of a letter from the hospital is a source of both excitement and dread. If they’re lucky, they’ll discover they have finally been offered a desperately needed consultation with a specialist or date for an operation. All too often, however, such communications bring disappointment, as patients are coolly informed that their appointment has been postponed yet again. (more…)

See the September 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 September issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Captain Richard Phillip Carr MBE, MC, who served in the Royal Artillery and as a Commando during the Second World War.

Carr, the son of a businessman, was only 20 years old and serving as a second lieutenant, when he was awarded the Military Cross (MC) in August 1940 for gallantry during the retreat from Dunkirk. (more…)

Lord Ashcroft’s new book, “Red Knight: The Unauthorised Biography of Sir Keir Starmer”, is published today

RED KNIGHT
THE UNAUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY OF SIR KEIR STARMER

BY MICHAEL ASHCROFT

Publication date: 19th August 2021
Price: £20 hardback

Sir Keir Starmer has played many parts during his life and career. He went from schoolboy socialist to radical lawyer before surprising many by joining the establishment, becoming Director of Public Prosecutions, accepting a knighthood and then, in 2015, standing successfully for Parliament. At Westminster, he was swiftly elevated to the shadow Cabinet, and in April 2020 he became the leader of the Labour Party.

Michael Ashcroft’s new book goes in search of the man who wants to be Prime Minister and reveals previously unknown details about him which help to explain what makes him tick. (more…)

Terribly burned in the Falklands War, Simon Weston is 60 today.

First published in The Mail on Sunday on 08 August 2021.

Here, in an interview that shows what a real hero is, he says: ‘I’m the luckiest guy alive…’

‘I thought we’d been hit by napalm because of the horrors we witnessed’, says Falklands War hero Simon Weston on his 60th birthday as he calls himself the ‘luckiest guy alive’

  • Simon Weston CBE, 60, was horrifically burned when serving in Falklands War
  • He was the most injured serviceman to survive when his ship was hit by bombs
  • In total, 48 men died aboard his vessel, Sir Galahad, many of them burnt alive
  • Over the next four years he underwent over 90 operations, mainly skin grafts
  • But Simon says he is the ‘luckiest guy alive’ and is ‘hugely fortunate’ to be here

A carefree boy from the Welsh valleys, he lived for his next game of rugby and a few pints in the pub with his mates. By his own admission, at the age of 20 he had a selfish streak.

For the next four decades he was a very different person, first fighting to survive, then struggling to rebuild his life after being horrifically burned serving in the Falklands War. (more…)

My next project will be …

As I prepare to publish my biography of Sir Keir Starmer on 19 August, I am pleased to announce that my next project will be a book about Carrie Johnson. Carrie has interested me for some time. Many people know her as Boris Johnson’s wife, but her influence developed long before she moved into 10 Downing Street via her work over the last decade within the Conservative Party and also through the posts she has held working for government ministers.

(more…)

Merit Group Plc – unlocking value through B2B data and intelligence

Read the latest independent report about Merit Group Plc, a company in which Lord Ashcroft is a minority shareholder, on how it is unlocking value through the fast growth B2B data technology and intelligence market (which is worth $1.8tn according to Informa), augmented by its proven strength in specialised human analysis to add further value.

VIEW REPORT …

Let’s rejoice at the news that the NHS has been awarded the George Cross

First published on ConHome on 05 July  2021.

I am thrilled and heartened by today’s announcement that the NHS has been awarded the George Cross (GC).

It is only the third time in the decoration’s 81-year-history that a collective GC has been awarded by the reigning monarch – and its recipient on this occasion could hardly be more deserving.

Yet again, the Queen has judged the mood of the nation perfectly and decided that this is the appropriate way to reward the devotion to duty, self-sacrifice and courage of our NHS staff.

The awards marks the 73rd birthday of the NHS, but it has clearly been prompted by the response of NHS staff to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In her hand-written personal message to accompany the news, the Queen concluded: “This award recognises all NHS staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations. Over more than seven decades, and especially in recent times, you have supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service. You have our enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation. Elizabeth R” (more…)

Starmer’s Brexit calamity: The irony is exquisite

Serialisation of Red Knight: The Unauthorised Biography Of Sir Keir Starmer, in The Mail on Sunday on 20 June 2021.

A forensic new biography of the Labour leader reveals how his arrogant refusal to accept the referendum result unwittingly helped make Boris PM – and gave Britain the hard Brexit he most dreaded…

In the first part of our serialisation last week of Lord Ashcroft’s forensically researched new biography of Sir Keir Starmer, we told how the flute-playing, grammar school educated Labour leader has been accused of overplaying his working-class credentials.

Here, in the final part, we explain how the die-hard Remainer may well have unwittingly secured Boris Johnson’s 2019 General Election triumph and a much harder Brexit. (more…)

King of the Middle Class Radicals: That was grammar school-educated Sir Keir Starmer’s university nickname.

Serialisation of Red Knight: The Unauthorised Biography Of Sir Keir Starmer, in The Mail on Sunday on 13 June 2021.

Even now, says a biography the Labour leader tried to obstruct, he’s guilty of overplaying his working-class credentials.

Those who know Sir Keir Starmer well often speak of his decency, integrity, intellect and reluctance to give too much away about himself.

However, Labour’s local elections trouncing in May spurred him to greater efforts on the self-promotion front.

The opening move was an interview on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, in which he spoke tearfully and movingly about his mother’s life-debilitating illness. (more…)

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