Hedgies Wined And Dined By British Prime Minister

Mar 27 2012 | 11:07am ET

Top hedge fund managers are prominent on a list of major donors to the U.K.'s Conservative Party to dine with Prime Minister David Cameron at his residence in London.

CQS founder Michael Hintze, Lansdowne Partners founder Paul Ruddock, RK Capital Management founder Michael Farmer and their wives attended a special "thank-you" dinner for Tory donors at No. 10 Downing Street on July 14, 2010, just two months after Cameron became prime minister. All were major donors to the Conservatives' 2010 election campaign, which resulted in a Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition government that ended 13 years of Labour Party power.

The Farmers were back the following year, on Nov. 2, 2011, for a "social dinner for strong and long-term supporters of the party, with whom the prime minister has a strong relationship."

The Tories were forced to publish the list in the wake of a scandal that led to the resignation of fundraising chief Peter Cruddas. Cruddas was recorded telling undercover reporters that they'd need to pony up hundreds of thousands of pounds to win facetime with government ministers. The names on the Downing Street list, as well as those to be named on two other lists, gave the Conservatives at least £50,000.

Despite being forced to publish the lists, Cameron has denied anything untoward, noting that he has known most of his guests for years and that the dinners were not paid for with taxpayer money.

Separately, Hintze has been identified as the primary backer of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a thinktank that, despite its name, seeks to cast doubt on climate change. Hintze's support for the GWPF, led by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, was revealed in a September e-mail in which he declined to support a climate change project, the Guardian reports.

Hintze wrote, "we are supporting Nigel Lawson's initiative."

The GWPF has refused to identify its donors, while at the same time calling for greater transparency on the part of climate scientists.

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