David Abrahams (businessman)
Abrahams was born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland and brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne as the only child in a strongly political family. His father Bennie Abrahams (1906–1990) was a Labour councillor for the Monkchester ward of Newcastle City Council, and served as the city's Lord Mayor for one year in 1981-2.
Abrahams was a councillor for the Labour Party on Tyne and Wear County Council from 1979 to 1983. He was selected as the Labour candidate for Richmond, Yorkshire in the 1992 General Election but was deselected after a "bitter row". In 1997 he was unsuccessful in his attempt at selection for the seat of Wansbeck near Newcastle.
A close associate of Tony Blair and Lord Levy during the New Labour-era, Abrahams was associated with a number of Jewish and pro-Israel groups such as the Trade Union Friends of Israel, the Community Security Trust, the Labour Friends of Israel and Academic Friends of Israel. He provided £25,000 to found a chair in International Politics of the Middle East at Warwick University.
Abrahams faced high-profile media accusations in 2007 that he had secretly made £630,000 in donations to the Labour Party, by channelling the donations through four different individuals in what was thought to have been a breach of the electoral law on transparent disclosure. The Donorgate scandal put pressure on then Prime Minister Gordon Brown who set up an internal enquiry, although no report has ever been published. Abrahams was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing by the police, according to a statement issued by his solicitor Louis Charalambous, a partner with the London law firm Simons Muirhead and Burton, in April 2008.
The BBC spotlighted Abrahams in their 'Political Lives' series in February 2014, detailing his life's work. In the BBC interview footage he stated that "I've been active politically all my life, still am and still taking an active interest in Labour – these things don't go away. But it's not the be all and end all, being in the Commons – people have still got the qualities, got the skills, still got the talent and use them in different directions."
In April 2016, following high-profile remarks made by a Labour MP Naz Shah and the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, Abrahams said that he would no longer financially support the Labour party, claiming it was becoming increasingly anti-semitic. He had ended his membership of the Labour Party after 48 years by late March 2018 because Labour under Jeremy Corbyn had failed to tackle the issue.
Abrahams is a Freeman of the City of London.
In 2010, it was reported that "he supports more than 70 charitable and voluntary organisations, including male cancer research charity 'Every Man Alive'".
Abrahams' Twitter page is @davidabrahams 8, where he describes himself as "working for peace in the Middle East and prosperity in the North East (UK)".
- http://www2.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/information.pl?r=188215095&d=bmd_1390257354. https://books.google.com/books?id=hJc8afOZV0QC&pg=PA8&dq=abrahams,+david+martin&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VIMXU6LuEYabtAbS9IGgDw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=abrahams%2C%20david%20martin&f=false The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History (2011), p. 8. Company House records
- Bright, Martin (14 January 2011). "Abrahams in bid to broker peace deal". The Jewish Chronicle.
- Alex Hunt (17 February 2014). "Political Lives: David Abrahams". BBC. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- Guardian profile
- "David Abrahams' glory days as Blair ally". The Telegraph. 2 December 2007.
- "Abrahams makes proxy donor claim". BBC News. 1 December 2007.
- BBC News Profile of David Abrahams
- Winnett, Robert (29 November 2007). "Hunt for 'mystery benefactor' in Gordon Brown's donations scandal". The Telegraph.
- Wintour, Patrick (28 April 2008). "Police clear donor Abrahams". The Guardian.
- Hunt, Alex (17 February 2014). "Political Lives: David Abrahams". BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Harpin, Lee (28 March 2018). "Major Jewish Labour donor explains why he has quit the party". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
- "Labour donor David Abrahams' gift to the north-east". The Guardian. 31 January 2010.