Note to journalists: If you use any quote from this story I'd be grateful if you'd source/credit it properly!
The man behind the £2.5 million Tory loan "revealed" in The Times today will come as a big disappointment to anyone looking for a Tory-troubles story. I can exclusively reveal that the man behind the loan is Michael Hintze, an Australian, who lives with his family in London, where he votes, and the loan to the Tory Party is only a very small proportion of his financial support of worthy causes in his adopted country.
Mr Hintze, who is already a declared donor to the Conservative Party, has given multiple millions to a large number of British charities in recent years. Together with his wife, he is behind the new sculpture gallery at The V & A, which opens in the next few weeks and is named as The Dorothy & Michael Hintze Gallery, and has been made possible by a £1.5 million donation from their charitable trust. Mr Hintze turns out to be a major financial donor to a wide range of admirable causes, none of which have been widely publicised, with the exception of the V & A Dorothy & Michael Hintze Gallery. His philanthropy has seen him supporting a vast number of causes, including his local Trinity Hospice, to which he is the biggest donor. The Evelina Charity at St Thomas's Hospital, where all four of his children were born, has also been a benefactor of his generosity. In the area of the arts he has given significant sums to: The Old Vic Theatre, The Donmar Theatre, The National Theatre and The Cartoon Arts Trust. In addition, he supports The Water Meadow Trust in Salisbury, the local churches where he and his family live and is a major donor to The Princes Trust and The Princes Foundation.
Next week, my sources inform me, Mr Hintze will be in Sydney, where he is funding a Chair in International Security at Sydney University. He is also behind the restoration of Michael Angelo's famous fresco in The Pauline Chapel in The Vatican, which has cost over £1 million.
When I contacted Mr Hintze, who I met at a recent Conservative Party dinner, he was totally up-front about his support for the Conservative Party saying: "I am very proud of this country and acknowledge the debt I owe to it. I am very fortunate to be in the position which allows me to put something back to many charities and causes in this country and have been keen to do so by supporting some of Britain's great institutions". He continued: "My support for the Conservative Party is something I am immensely proud of and I am pleased to be able to help, both with the declared donations I have made and through the loan from the UK based trading company, Morain UK, of which I am an ultimate beneficiary and which responded to the Party's need for support by agreeing to a secured loan on commercial terms last year".
He ended his comment by telling me: "I have supported the Conservative Party because I can and the law allows me to do so. I truly believe this country needs a strong opposition."