Peter Cruddas

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Peter Cruddas
Born Peter Andrew Cruddas
(1953-09-30) 30 September 1953 (age 61)
Hackney, London[1]
Residence London, Hertfordshire and Antibes
Nationality British
Education Shoreditch Comprehensive
Occupation Banker and businessman
Years active 1979–present
Net worth Increase US$ 1.3 billion
Children 4

Peter Andrew Cruddas (born 30 September 1953) Peter Andrew Cruddas (born 30 September 1953) Peter is an English banker and businessman, and philanthropist.[2][3] He is the founder and majority shareholder (through his family holding) of online trading company CMC Markets. In December 2007 Peter sold ten per cent of CMC Markets to Goldmans Sachs that valued the company in excess of £1.1 billion. Peter and his family still own in excess of 88 per cent of the company. In the 2007 Sunday Times Rich List, he was named the richest man in the City of London, with an estimated fortune of £860 million.[1] As of March 2012, Forbes estimated his wealth at $1.3 billion. Cruddas claims to have invented the first on line trading platform in Europe for buying and selling financial products when he launched the market maker platform in 1996. [4]

In February 2011 Peter was appointed Treasurer of the No2AV campaign; the referendum campaign against a change in the UK voting system. The “NO” campaign won 68 per cent of the referendum vote in May 2011 to maintain the existing voting system in the UK. Following this successful campaign Cruddas was appointed Conservative Party co-treasurer in June 2011.[5] In January 2012 he was elevated to Treasurer of the Conservative Party, a main board member and a member of the Conservative Party Finance and Audit Committee.

In March 2012 on its front page story it was alleged by The Sunday Times that Cruddas had offered access to the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor George Osborne, in exchange for cash donations of between £100,000 and £250,000.[6][7] Cruddas resigned the same day.[8] The story was billed as “cash for access” In July 2013, Cruddas successfully sued the Sunday Times and its two journalists Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert for libel and malicious falsehood over its coverage of him, which the High Court found had been defamatory.[9] Following his victory Cruddas’s lawyers (Slater Gordon) commented “Cruddas v Calvert, Blake and Times Newspapers is the most significant libel case of 2013 and one of the most significant libel cases of the last decade.

The award of £180,000 in damages to Mr Cruddas (including £15,000 for aggravated damages) and his legal costs of £1million is one of the highest libel awards in recent years and it reflects both the seriousness of the allegations and the damage and distress they caused to Mr Cruddas.

The Sunday Times defended the action by maintaining that the articles it published were true. However, Mr Justice Tugendhat rejected the defence and castigated the journalists (Blake and Calvert) for being malicious - they knew that the articles were false, they had a dominant intention to injure Mr Cruddas and they expressed delight when learning that they had caused his resignation. The High Court and Court of Appeal both refused to grant the Defendants permission to appeal.

Following Mr Cruddas’ victory against the Sunday Times, Prime Minister David Cameron, made a public apology to him for the way he had been treated by the Conservative Party in the aftermath of the Sunday Times story.

In the wake of the original newspaper report Mr Cameron gave a speech condemning Mr Cruddas's alleged actions as "completely unacceptable and wrong". High Court judge Mr Justice Tugendhat criticised Mr Cameron's response, saying he had subjected his former colleague to a "massive public humiliation". "The Prime Minister did not know what Mr Cruddas had said. All he knew was what the Sunday Times had reported," said the judge in his finding. Mr Cameron said he was "very sorry" about the treatment of Mr Cruddas, who claimed he was "cut off" by the party and "made to feel like an outcast" by the Prime Minister. "I rather think I do owe him an apology," he admitted. "Had I known at the time how badly the journalists had behaved, I might have been in the position to take a different approach. "I am very sorry about that. I congratulate Peter Cruddas on his victory and on the verdict he has won. I think it is very deserved. "He [Cruddas] has done a huge amount for this country. I look forward to meeting him after the summer."

In January 2014 Cruddas became a board member of Business for Britain, the campaign group for reform in Europe. In January 2014 Cruddas wrote an article on the subject for the Sunday Telegraph.

Early life[edit]

The son of a father who worked at Smithfield Market, Cruddas has an elder brother John and a twin brother Stephen.[1] Born in the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney, the family initially lived on the Bracklyn Court Estate, before moving to Vince Court when the twins were six.[1] Cruddas states his membership of the Boy Scouts as the reason for his early success, who taught him self-discipline and self-confidence:[2]

The Boy Scouts enabled me to escape a violent home situation and the inner city. I sincerely believe that I would not be where I am today had I not become a member.


He left Shoreditch Comprehensive with no qualifications, aged 15, and gained a job as a telex operator for Western Union in the City of London. After being made redundant, he worked in the foreign currency trading rooms of various banks, including the Bank of Iran and Marine Midland.[1]

By 1989, Cruddas was the head foreign exchange dealer at the City of London branch of the Jordanian-based Petra Bank.[3] He left the same year to set up his own business, starting CMC Markets with £10,000 in the bank. Effectively a bookmaker for the City of London, it allows dealers to place margin calls on foreign currency movements. CMC Markets is currently valued at between £750 million and £1.2 billion.[2]


Cruddas has stated his intention to give away £100 million to enable children who have a background like his to succeed. To achieve this he set up the Peter Cruddas Foundation, which is chaired by the former Conservative cabinet minister David Young, Baron Young of Graffham.[2] Cruddas is the largest individual donor to the Duke of Edinburgh Award International Association, and The Prince's Trust [4] and has donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital.[1]

Cruddas supported the Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet, and after becoming a member of the Chairman’s Circle, in March 2012 was invited to become a Trustee and join the Board of the Royal Opera House.[2] Snce its inception in 2006 the Peter Cruddas Foundation has donated over £14 million to over fifty charities. The foundation is entirely funded by Cruddas.


In total, it is believed that Cruddas has donated over £1,000,000 to the Conservative Party. On 31 July 2013 on the BBC's Newsnight programme he stated that he had donated over £1,000,000. He donated £100,000 in the last quarter of 2010 and £50,000 in the first week of the 2010 general election campaign.[2] In addition to direct Conservative Party funding Cruddas also donated in excess of £500,000 to Policey Exchange the centre right think tank founded by Francis Maude MP and Nick Boles MP.

Cruddas also donated over £600,000 in seed funding to help set up the National Citizen Service A brain child of David Cameron.

Cruddas was appointed Conservative Party co-treasurer in June 2011 alongside Lord Fink, effectively the party's chief fund raiser, in succession to billionaire property tycoon David Rowland.[2]

In March 2012 it was alleged by The Sunday Times that he had offered access to the Prime Minister David Cameron, and the Chancellor George Osborne. In The Sunday Times footage Cruddas was allegedly heard discussing what access different size donations leads to: "£200,000 to £250,000 is Premier League - things will open up for you - you can ask him practically any question you want."[5][6] Cruddas resigned the same day.[7]

The undercover journalists were introduced to Cruddas by Sarah Southern, a lobbyist who is David Cameron's former aide.[8][9][10] The undercover reporters posed as overseas financiers and claimed that their clients intended to buy distressed government assets and wanted to make political connections.[11]

In July 2012, the ConservativeHome blog reported that Cruddas was suing the Sunday Times for libel over its coverage of him.[12] In June 2013, the High Court ruled in his favour and found that the Sunday Times' articles had been defamatory.[13] He was awarded £180,000 in damages on 31 July.[14]

Personal life[edit]

A father of four from two marriages,[3] Cruddas was resident in Monaco for a period until March 2009, commuting daily from an apartment on Avenue de Spélugues to London City Airport.[2] In an interview in early 2011 he stated that he had: "A £10m apartment in Monaco, a £5m house in Hertfordshire, a house in Antibes, a yacht and a private jet."[1][2] He plays golf with a low handicap, composes quatrains, and supports Arsenal F.C.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Hackney People - Peter Cruddas". Hackney Council. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Andy McSmith (8 June 2011). "'Very polished' rough diamond Peter Cruddas joins Tory treasury team". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  3. ^ a b c "Peter Cruddas". Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ "Peter Cruddas". Prince's Trust. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Tory Peter Cruddas sold access to PM, Sunday Times alleges". BBC News (BBC). 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Conservatives Deny Sunday Times 'Cash For Access'". Sky News (British Sky Broadcasting). 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Boffey, Daniel (25 March 2012). "Tory co-treasurer Peter Cruddas resigns over cash for access to prime minister". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Hughes, Mark (26 March 2012). "Sarah Southern: The Young Conservative who 'sold' access to the Prime Minister". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Davies, Caroline (26 March 2012). "Cash for access: Sarah Southern claims to be political consultant". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sarah Southern Had Other Tories on Her Business Cards Links to Transatlantic Lobbying Group Masked". Guy Fawkes' blog ( 26 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  11. ^ Hughes, Mark (26 March 2012). "How David Cameron predicted the lobbying scandal which now engulfs him". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Ashcroft, Lord. "Lord Ashcroft: Should the Conservative Party learn lessons from the treament of Peter Cruddas?". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Halliday, Josh (5 June 2013). "Former Tory co-treasurer Peter Cruddas wins Sunday Times libel case". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ex-Tory treasurer Cruddas wins £180,000 libel damages". BBC News (BBC). 31 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 

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