||This article should be divided into sections by topic, to make it more accessible. (February 2014)|
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2012)|
Photo of Cliff Stanford
12 October 1954 |
Cliff Stanford, an accountant from Southend-on-Sea, was a co-founder of Demon Internet, the first Internet Service Provider in the United Kingdom for individual subscribers. Stanford had spotted what he thought was a real business opportunity to profit from the incipient demand for access to the Internet and started Demon with a capital of just £20,000.
Following the sale of Demon Internet to Scottish Telecom in 1998 for £66m, he founded Redbus Investments, a venture capital firm involved in film production and a variety of other ventures. Redbus Investments provided seed capital for a number of investments including Redbus Interhouse and Redbus Film Distribution. After a boardroom fall-out at Redbus Interhouse, he resigned in June 2002.
In 2003, whilst attempting to gather information about possible wrongdoings by the board of Redbus Interhouse, Stanford discovered and exposed more than £34m of assets of Dame Shirley Porter This resulted directly in her repaying £12m to Westminster Council.
Despite pleading guilty, Stanford claimed that what he had done was legal as "someone on the inside ... put in a redirect". He was given a suspended sentence, ordered to pay a fine of £20,000 and, in a later hearing, was denied leave to appeal.
He is currently living in Swansea and is operating a new telecoms venture called Ifonic PLC.
Stanford is a chess enthusiast who sponsored a REDBUS knockout Grandmaster chess event each Easter in Southend since 1999. Following the death of his uncle, Jack Speigel, who had for many years organised the entire annual Southend Easter chess congress, Stanford inaugurated an annual Jack Speigel Memorial Invitational Tournament, also at Easter and in Southend. The first Redbus event and the first Speigel Memorial event were each won buy James Plaskett.