- Martin Taylor unveiled as party’s fourth largest donor over past three years
- The hedge-fun multi-millionaire has given the party £600,000 since 2012
- Ed Miliband has attacked Tories for being 'party of Mayfair hedge funds'
- Mr Taylor’s company manages a fund with a £10m stake in United Health
- The US private healthcare giant has run NHS-funded GP surgeries
Multi-millionaire hedge fund boss Martin Taylor who handed £600,000 to the Labour party
A multi-millionaire hedge fund boss who handed £600,000 to the Labour party, also stands to cash in from the privatisation of NHS services.
Martin Taylor was unveiled last week as the generous benefactor who has become the party’s fourth largest donor over the past three years.
Ed Miliband, who has had at least one private meeting with him, has attacked the Conservatives for being ‘the party of Mayfair hedge funds’, the exclusive part of London where Mr Taylor’s firm is based.
And yesterday it emerged that Mr Taylor’s company, Nevsky Capital, managed a fund with a £10million stake in United Health, an American private healthcare giant which has run NHS-funded GP surgeries and is bidding for health service contracts.
Tory MPs accused Mr Miliband of being a ‘hypocrite’ from taking his money after Labour have hit out at NHS ‘privatisation’ under the Coalition and claimed they would prevent it if they win office.
United Health UK, its arm in this country, has run a number of GP surgeries over the past few years. But the firm was fined tens of millions of dollars in the USA for allegations it over-charged patients.
It is also bidding for other NHS work including a controversial £1.2billion contract for cancer and end-of-life care in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, described as the health service’s biggest ever privatisation.
The deal - for which a number of other private companies including Richard Branson’s Virgin Care Ltd are also bidding - has been opposed by Labour’s Andy Burnham who said all private contracts should be halted until after the General Election.
Tory MP Henry Smith said of Mr Miliband: ‘He spread pathetic smears about the government, but at the same time took buckets of cash from someone who made millions from the health privatisations that Labour started.’
The Nevsky Fund, managed by Mr Taylor’s firm, is based in the Cayman Islands, a secretive tax haven where investors can protect their identities and can avoid paying tax on the hedge fund’s profits.
There is no suggestion Mr Taylor - who has said he is domiciled in the UK - or his investors have avoided tax.
Tory MPs have accused Ed Miliband of being a ‘hypocrite’ for taking money from hedge fund boss Martin Taylor
Mr Taylor told the Sunday Times it might seem ‘a bit odd’ for a hedge fund manager to support Labour but he believed that ‘everyone should contribute to society and that those who are lucky enough to earn a lot should contribute more.’
Last week Labour faced allegations it had tried to cover up his identity, after it emerged a newspaper had first asked about his identity several months ago. He has given £591,800 since 2012.
Parties are required to identify all donors who have given more than £7,500, but because only the person’s name is given it can be difficult to identify those with common names such as Mr Taylor.
The party issued a statement from him last week, saying: ‘There is no mystery. This ‘Martin Taylor is me’. I am a born and bred Londoner, who also happens to be a hedge fund manager. And I am proud to support the Labour party.’
A Labour spokesman said yesterday: ‘We are grateful to people from all walks of life who support the Labour Party and our better plan. Unlike David Cameron and the Conservatives who increasingly rely on the money of an exclusive group of donors – the same people who they have rewarded with tax breaks - Ed Miliband will enter Downing Street owing nothing to anybody.’