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Express Owner Desmond Hands £300K To Ukip

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Given the Express' property ramping and support for UKIP expressed on this site, I think this is worth keeping in the main house price forum section for a wee while.

The Daily Express owner Richard Desmond has agreed to donate £300,000 to UKIP, bolstering the partys war chest less than five months before the general election.

Sky News has learnt that Mr Desmond pledged the money to help Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, ahead of a poll which some political commentators believe could result in the party holding the balance of power at Westminster.

Mr Desmond and Mr Farage are understood to have discussed the businessmans donation at a meeting earlier this month.

It was unclear on Friday whether Mr Desmond has actually handed over the money yet or merely committed to doing so.

The news of Mr Desmonds impending financial support for the party strongly increases the prospect of the Express newspaper titles endorsing UKIP ahead of next Mays poll.

Mr Desmond has expressed public support for Mr Farages immigration policies and the extent of Brussels influence over Britains domestic affairs.

A recent Daily Express leader column reflected the stance of its proprietor: Nigel Farages message is hugely popular across Britain. Huge numbers of people are sick of the EU, sick of mass immigration and sick of a political elite that refuses to listen to the electorate, it said.

The media tycoon is also understood to have pledged additional financial backing for UKIP during his discussions with Mr Farage, although it is unclear how large future sums might involve.

He is sitting on a billion pounds of cash, one ally of Mr Desmonds said.

There has been speculation that Mr Desmond could be recommended for a peerage by Mr Farage, although some have suggested that the Jewish newspaper owner becoming closer to the party could be complicated by UKIPs affiliation with controversial right-wing parties elsewhere in Europe.

In October, Mr Desmond appointed Lord Stevens, the UKIP peer and former chairman of Express Newspapers, as his companys deputy chairman.

Mr Desmond has amassed one of Britains largest fortunes from a long career in the media industry.

His ownership of Channel 5, the terrestrial television group, illustrated his talent for transforming the performance of struggling media properties.

Having acquired it for just over £100m in 2010, he sold the business earlier this year to Viacom, the US media group, for a headline-grabbing price of £450m.

Through his Northern & Shell holding company, Mr Desmond also owns the Daily Star and its Sunday sister title, and a portfolio of adult-TV channels.

His backing for UKIP is likely to be interpreted as a blow to David Cameron, who has been courting Mr Desmonds support and recently attended a fundraising event for a Jewish charity for which the Express-owner has raised huge sums of money.

It is relatively unusual for national newspaper proprietors to make such substantial political donations, although Mr Desmond himself gave who gave £100,000 to Labour during Tony Blairs leadership.

UKIP has attracted a number of other prominent financial backers, including Paul Sykes, a businessman, who pledged a further £1.5m to the party.

However, the Financial Times reported on Friday that "war" had broken out at the top of UKIP over the candidacy of the former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton.

Stuart Wheeler, the party's second-largest donor, is reported to have threatened to curb his financial contributions if Mr Hamilton does not get a seat.

The donor is also said to have claimed UKIP is running out of money.

Although changes in the media landscape have made the endorsement of national newspapers less significant than in the past, the main party leaders still view their support at general elections as being of importance.

Mr Desmond declined to comment. UKIP did not respond to requests for comment.

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I have no idea why UKIP enjoy support on a (largely) pro House Price Crash forum.

A housing minister who's a millionaire BTL landlord because of housing benefit.

A house building policy that is essentially driven by NIMBYism.

Swaiths of the most swivel-eyed/landed gentry type ex-Tory party members (that were frankly embrassing to us Tories).

None of it makes any sense to me.

I think people think they'll be "free market". Well a free market is only ever free for however long it takes to be bought. Looks to me like Desmond is doing the buying here.

Edited by byron78

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If I join UKIP do I get a discount on the fantasy channel?

I used to work for a friend of Desmonds and he was very good like that

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If I join UKIP do I get a discount on the fantasy channel?

I used to work for a friend of Desmonds and he was very good like that

you can just see this working as an election ploy can't you!

as long as they are up-front about 10% of the fantasy channel proceeds going to ukip.

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