Ben Houchen’s Donor List

Pog

Well-known member
Now I don’t mind Ben, he seems like he knows how to effectively market himself on social media and appears to get quite a bit done for the area.

But his donor list makes interesting reading. Former MP James Wharton (through a shadow company called GBMW) has thrown £10,000 his way.

His biggest donor is a certain Stephen Gibson, with a generous £20,000.

I wonder what they expect in return for this money?

67C73B78-CE83-4B4E-815A-FD284879310A.jpeg
 

TheLodger

Well-known member
David Soley is the MD of Teesside Airport
Mr G Hogg is the owner of TeesAMG
Both of which Houchen has pilled with our tax payers money TeesAMG is many millions, Teesside Airport likewise.
 

Pog

Well-known member
Now I don’t mind Ben, he seems like he knows how to effectively market himself on social media and appears to get quite a bit done for the area.

But his donor list makes interesting reading. Former MP James Wharton (through a shadow company called GBMW) has thrown £10,000 his way.

His biggest donor is a certain Stephen Gibson, with a generous £20,000.

I wonder what they expect in return for this money?

View attachment 6177

WHO’S BACKING BEN HOUCHEN, TEES VALLEY MAYOR?

The first of a series of articles on the workings of the Tees Valley Combined Authority

Ben Houchen, it seems, is unstoppable. Whether it’s bringing Teesside airport back into public ownership, or organising nostalgia tours round the South Tees Development Site, he has the ability to tap into precisely those things that people in this area get enthusiastic about. His plans for the Tees Valley indicate that he has a vision for the future, and his negotiations both to reclaim the airport and to buy back the site of Redcar Steel from the group of Thai banks that held it previously, show that he has the ability to deal with the detail as well as the big picture. There are, of course, those who dislike his politics; But while there may be room for criticism, he is not to be dismissed lightly.

So, his elevation, from small business owner to metro mayor has earned him lots of friends and admirers. Some of these admire him enough to send him donations. The big ones are published by the Electoral Commission, as required by law. It’s required by law in the interests of transparency and helps to shield those in public life from baseless accusations of receiving backhanders. So all of the donations listed on the page below (electoralcommission.org.uk) are entirely legitimate and above board:

A SELECTION OF BEN HOUCHEN’S DONORS
Value Accepted Date Donor Name Donor Status Donation Type
£10,000.00 20/03/2020 Ramscove Ltd Company Cash
£5,000.00 04/02/2020 Mr Sukhraj Singh Individual Cash
£20,000.00 04/02/2020 Mr Stephen Gibson Individual Cash
£2,500.00 03/02/2020 Lady May Hall Individual Cash
£2,500.00 03/02/2020 Sir John Hall Individual Cash
£5,000.00 28/01/2020 Map Group UK Ltd Company Cash
£15,000.00 23/12/2019 Askaris Information Tech Ltd Company Cash
£10,000.00 13/12/2019 Geoffrey M Hogg Individual Cash
£10,000.00 10/12/2019 GBMW Ltd Company Cash
£5,000.00 09/12/2019 Ramscove Ltd Company Cash
£5,000.00 06/12/2019 David Soley Individual Cash
£5,000.00 28/11/2019 Fifth Capital Company Non Cash
£4,000.00 07/05/2019 Mr Sukhraj Singh Individual Cash
£1,600.00 02/11/2018 Able UK Limited Company Non Cash
£5,200.00 16/10/2018 Fifth Capital Company Non Cash

As is clear from this table, Ben Houchen pulls in a lot of money, which is fortunate, because he also spends a lot. It was widely reported last year(thenorthernecho.co.uk), between October 2018 and September 2019, that he spent £30,200 on Facebook ads, thousands more than any other British politician. Houchen insisted, and we have no reason to doubt him, that no public money was spent on this advertising. However, given the level of donations he seems to be able to command, he doesn’t need public money in any case.

Some of his donors are well known. Sir John Hall, former chairman of Newcastle United FC, and his wife are long-term donors to the Conservative Party, as is Marc Pennick, whose donation was made through one of his companies, Fifth Capital (Pennick was the person who chartered a helicopter to fly Boris Johnson and Simon Clarke MP up from London in April 2019 to support a fundraising event for Houchen (gazettelive.co.uk)). Steve Gibson, chairman of Middlesbrough FC and board member of the South Tees Development Corporation, is also well known to people in this region.

Some of the other names may be less well known at first sight; David Soley, for example, may not be a household name, but he is the chief executive of Teesside International Airport Ltd (TIAL) and also director of the company – Goosepool 2019 – that is its commercial arm. He is also a director of Ramscove Ltd that has made two donations totalling £15,000.

One of the directors of Askaris Technology, Richard Upshall, was co-director of RU Active Ltd, the company (now dissolved) that Houchen ran before becoming mayor. So, Upshall’s support for Houchen also comes as little surprise.

A more questionable donation comes from a company called GBMW Ltd, whose sole director is former Stockton South MP, James Wharton. The issue around Wharton is the prominent place he holds in the recently published report on Russian interference in British politics (russia report.gov.uk), having received £25,000 in donations from companies belonging to one Alexander Temerko (an issue that is also currently following Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Simon Clarke round like a spare shadow). Wharton is now a paid adviser to one of these companies – Aquind Ltd. (What he advises the directors of Aquind Ltd on has never been disclosed). Fairly or unfairly, this means that there is now suspicion of Russian backing for any donations from Wharton himself.

And the donation of £10,000 was remarkably generous, given that GBMW Ltd, in its last filing, had capital and reserves of £186,000, £65,000 of which was in the form of a loan from Wharton, meaning that it gave a little under 10% of its value as a gift to Ben Houchen (companieshouse.gov.uk) (However, he will shortly be in a position to lend his company even more money as he is currently in the process of being appointed to the House of Lords. No one is entirely sure why). Transparent or not, receiving money from Wharton is not a good look for any aspiring politician.

It is our habit at TVM to contact those we write about to invite them to comment on the issues raised. This, as it turns out, is a problem when it comes to contacting GBMW Ltd, as, apart from a Darlington address, they publish no contact details. So, we went to the address given to make inquiries, only to find no sign of GBMW, but instead a firm of accountants – Mollart & Co. They knew all about GBMW, as it turns out, as they do their accounts. And although, as they told us, GBMW has no email address that is available to the public, TVM can send an email via Mollart’s. The episode led us to reflect, however, on how exactly, GBMW Ltd conducts its business, given that it is so shy with its contact details.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, has also been contacted for comment on the issues raised in this piece.
 

DCI_Gene_Hunt

Well-known member
WHO’S BACKING BEN HOUCHEN, TEES VALLEY MAYOR?

The first of a series of articles on the workings of the Tees Valley Combined Authority

Ben Houchen, it seems, is unstoppable. Whether it’s bringing Teesside airport back into public ownership, or organising nostalgia tours round the South Tees Development Site, he has the ability to tap into precisely those things that people in this area get enthusiastic about. His plans for the Tees Valley indicate that he has a vision for the future, and his negotiations both to reclaim the airport and to buy back the site of Redcar Steel from the group of Thai banks that held it previously, show that he has the ability to deal with the detail as well as the big picture. There are, of course, those who dislike his politics; But while there may be room for criticism, he is not to be dismissed lightly.

So, his elevation, from small business owner to metro mayor has earned him lots of friends and admirers. Some of these admire him enough to send him donations. The big ones are published by the Electoral Commission, as required by law. It’s required by law in the interests of transparency and helps to shield those in public life from baseless accusations of receiving backhanders. So all of the donations listed on the page below (electoralcommission.org.uk) are entirely legitimate and above board:

A SELECTION OF BEN HOUCHEN’S DONORS
Value Accepted Date Donor Name Donor Status Donation Type
£10,000.00 20/03/2020 Ramscove Ltd Company Cash
£5,000.00 04/02/2020 Mr Sukhraj Singh Individual Cash
£20,000.00 04/02/2020 Mr Stephen Gibson Individual Cash
£2,500.00 03/02/2020 Lady May Hall Individual Cash
£2,500.00 03/02/2020 Sir John Hall Individual Cash
£5,000.00 28/01/2020 Map Group UK Ltd Company Cash
£15,000.00 23/12/2019 Askaris Information Tech Ltd Company Cash
£10,000.00 13/12/2019 Geoffrey M Hogg Individual Cash
£10,000.00 10/12/2019 GBMW Ltd Company Cash
£5,000.00 09/12/2019 Ramscove Ltd Company Cash
£5,000.00 06/12/2019 David Soley Individual Cash
£5,000.00 28/11/2019 Fifth Capital Company Non Cash
£4,000.00 07/05/2019 Mr Sukhraj Singh Individual Cash
£1,600.00 02/11/2018 Able UK Limited Company Non Cash
£5,200.00 16/10/2018 Fifth Capital Company Non Cash

As is clear from this table, Ben Houchen pulls in a lot of money, which is fortunate, because he also spends a lot. It was widely reported last year(thenorthernecho.co.uk), between October 2018 and September 2019, that he spent £30,200 on Facebook ads, thousands more than any other British politician. Houchen insisted, and we have no reason to doubt him, that no public money was spent on this advertising. However, given the level of donations he seems to be able to command, he doesn’t need public money in any case.

Some of his donors are well known. Sir John Hall, former chairman of Newcastle United FC, and his wife are long-term donors to the Conservative Party, as is Marc Pennick, whose donation was made through one of his companies, Fifth Capital (Pennick was the person who chartered a helicopter to fly Boris Johnson and Simon Clarke MP up from London in April 2019 to support a fundraising event for Houchen (gazettelive.co.uk)). Steve Gibson, chairman of Middlesbrough FC and board member of the South Tees Development Corporation, is also well known to people in this region.

Some of the other names may be less well known at first sight; David Soley, for example, may not be a household name, but he is the chief executive of Teesside International Airport Ltd (TIAL) and also director of the company – Goosepool 2019 – that is its commercial arm. He is also a director of Ramscove Ltd that has made two donations totalling £15,000.

One of the directors of Askaris Technology, Richard Upshall, was co-director of RU Active Ltd, the company (now dissolved) that Houchen ran before becoming mayor. So, Upshall’s support for Houchen also comes as little surprise.

A more questionable donation comes from a company called GBMW Ltd, whose sole director is former Stockton South MP, James Wharton. The issue around Wharton is the prominent place he holds in the recently published report on Russian interference in British politics (russia report.gov.uk), having received £25,000 in donations from companies belonging to one Alexander Temerko (an issue that is also currently following Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Simon Clarke round like a spare shadow). Wharton is now a paid adviser to one of these companies – Aquind Ltd. (What he advises the directors of Aquind Ltd on has never been disclosed). Fairly or unfairly, this means that there is now suspicion of Russian backing for any donations from Wharton himself.

And the donation of £10,000 was remarkably generous, given that GBMW Ltd, in its last filing, had capital and reserves of £186,000, £65,000 of which was in the form of a loan from Wharton, meaning that it gave a little under 10% of its value as a gift to Ben Houchen (companieshouse.gov.uk) (However, he will shortly be in a position to lend his company even more money as he is currently in the process of being appointed to the House of Lords. No one is entirely sure why). Transparent or not, receiving money from Wharton is not a good look for any aspiring politician.

It is our habit at TVM to contact those we write about to invite them to comment on the issues raised. This, as it turns out, is a problem when it comes to contacting GBMW Ltd, as, apart from a Darlington address, they publish no contact details. So, we went to the address given to make inquiries, only to find no sign of GBMW, but instead a firm of accountants – Mollart & Co. They knew all about GBMW, as it turns out, as they do their accounts. And although, as they told us, GBMW has no email address that is available to the public, TVM can send an email via Mollart’s. The episode led us to reflect, however, on how exactly, GBMW Ltd conducts its business, given that it is so shy with its contact details.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, has also been contacted for comment on the issues raised in this piece.

Is this on line anywhere?
 

Wilf

Well-known member
its called a Corporatocracy
its why the United States is in such a mess.

it ends up with a Kakistocracy
its why the United Kingdom is in such a mess.
 
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