Citing Party's Stance on Gay Marriage, Billionaire Pulls Funding From Conservatives

Michael Hintze
Michael Hintze is reportedly pulling his funding over the Conservative Party’s stance on gay marriage. (Acton Institute/Flickr/Creative Commons)

One of the Conservative Party’s biggest donors in the U.K. is reportedly pulling his funding over the Party’s stance on gay marriage.

According to a Tory insider who spoke with the Daily Mail, billionaire Michael Hintze said he was “deeply upset” by the Tories’ “promotion” of same-sex marriage.

Hintze is said to want his £2.5 million (about $4 million) loan to the Party back because he would have also liked to have seen “a more radical economic agenda.”

“Michael is fed up with David Cameron and George Osborne and doesn’t see why he should prop up the party any longer," the insider said.

“He is deeply upset with the party’s promotion of gay marriage; it grates with his Catholicism,” the insider added.

In addition to his loan, the 60-year-old hedge fund manager has also donated around £4 million (around $6.6 million) to the Party.

Daily Mail columnist Sebastian Shakespeare says Hintze’s announcement comes “just as the party needs a fortune” to bankroll the 2015 general election.

Hintze's net loans and donations reportedly make him one of the biggest donors to the Conservative Party.

Hintze heads up a fund worth £12.6 billion (around $21 billion) and has in the past also given senior Tory ministers individual donations and gifts.

Hintze, worth more than £1 billion (around $1.7 billion) according to Forbes, is not the first donor to withdraw allegiance.

In November, the Daily Telegraph reported that Conservative donors were “flocking” to the U.K. Independence Party (Ukip).

The biggest “defecting donor,” according to the paper, was Stuart Wheeler, who on previous occasions donated around £4 million (around $6.7 million) to the Conservatives.

Wheeler is now the Ukip treasurer and has reportedly given £300,000 (around $5,000) to the Party.

Other defectors include self-made tycoon Paul Sykes, who backed the Tories under Margaret Thatcher and Michael Howard but has given £1.5 million (around $2.5 million) to Ukip.

The Daily Mail’s insider did not allude to which party Hintze may support instead of the Conservatives.

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