Georg von Opel

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Georg von Opel is a German-born automotive heir and a major donor to the UK Conservative Party.


The great-grandson of the German automotive entrepreneur Adam Opel, he is a Swiss-resident although has UK homes and a British wife.

Von Opel donated six-figure sums to the party in the two years running up to the UK general election in 2015.

Von Opel is a member of The Leader's Group, the premier Conservative Party supporter group. Through an annual membership fee of £50,000 donors are able to secure access to leading members of the party.

Background

According to the Guardian,

Since moving to Switzerland as a child, Von Opel has been a tax exile, managing his fortune from there. His office said none of Von Opel’s accounts were used for evading or avoiding tax. They added: “Mr von Opel … is a Swiss national and a Swiss resident since 1973.”
This has not stopped him from financing British politics. Since December 2012, Von Opel has donated more than £430,000 to the Conservatives. He owns homes and a business in Britain and has been on the electoral register since 2010, entitling him to make party donations. EU citizens like Von Opel are entitled to vote in local but not national elections.

Political donations

Recorded by the Electoral Commission:

Date Name of donor Amount Donated to Subsidiary (parties only)
19/12/2012 Georg von Opel £61,590.00 Conservative Party Central party
30/07/2013 Georg von Opel £20,100.00 Conservative Party Central party
05/12/2013 Georg von Opel £51,494.00 Conservative Party Central party
21/01/2014 Georg von Opel £100,000.00 Conservative Party Central party
09/04/2014 Georg von Opel £100,000.00 Conservative Party Central party
14/07/2014 Georg von Opel £100,000.00 Conservative Party Central party
[1]


Notes

  1. Electoral Commission, Donation Search, accessed 16 February 2015