Tory lead grows as City donors swell coffers

THE Conservative Party has extended its opinion-poll lead over Labour as City donations continue to pour into the Tory coffers, a survey has shown.<br /><br />Support for the Conservatives is up two points to 40 per cent while Labour is down one point to 24 per cent, according to a YouGov survey conducted for the People newspaper.<br /><br />City grandees have hiked their financial support for the Tories recently after Labour introduced a tide of unpopular measures, including increasing the top income tax bracket to 50 per cent.<br /><br />A &pound;500,000 sum was raised at a Tory summer fundraiser at Old Billingsgate market two weeks ago, while more than &pound;5.5m of donations have swelled the party&rsquo;s finances so far this year. Former Man Group boss and current Conservative treasurer Stanley Fink has donated &pound;1.08m, while co-treasurer and Icap boss Michael Spencer has given &pound;33,000. <br /><br />Landsdowne Partners founder Paul Ruddock, Strategic Real Estate Advisors founder Pierre Rolin and Corniche Partners founder Hani Farsi contributed &pound;50,000 apiece. Ex-Morgan Stanley banker Jonathan Chenevix-Trench donated &pound;25,000, as did Greenhill&rsquo;s James Lupton. <br /><br />TV Dragon Theo Paphitis and Sovereign Capital&rsquo;s Ryan Robson both donated &pound;10,000.