David Garrard (property developer)

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Sir David Garrard
David Eardley Garrard

(1939-01-12) 12 January 1939 (age 81)
Streatham, London, England
Occupationproperty developer
Known forCo-founder, Minerva PLC
Net worth£100 million (2005)

Sir David Eardley Garrard (born 12 January 1939) is a retired British property developer.

Early career[edit]

David Garrard was born Streatham on 12 January 1939, the son of a Stamford Hill upholsterer.[1] He attended Battersea Grammar School[2] in South London.


Garrard left school at 16 and joined an estate agency.[1] He co-founded Minerva PLC with Andrew Rosenfeld,[3] a property investment and development company, whose shares are quoted in the London Stock Exchange FTSE 250 Index, and served as its chairman for many years until his retirement in March 2005.[1] Before co-founding Minerva, Garrard worked as a financial adviser.[4] In 2008, he set up a venture capital business with his son in law Alexander Salter, but the two fell out when Salter and Garrard's daughter divorced in 2013, leading to a High Court case.[5]

Garrard was listed by the Sunday Times Rich List 2005 as the joint 451st richest person in the UK, with a fortune in excess of £100 million,[citation needed] falling to 575th with £95 million in 2009.[6]

In 2014 Garrard was involved in a legal dispute with his former son-in-law related to an alleged attempted transfer of £2.5 million from a bank account and the appointment of Lord Mendelsohn as a director of jointly owned companies.[7]

Political involvement[edit]

Labour Party[edit]

In 2002 the first city academy under a new Labour programme, Business Academy Bexley, was opened by prime minister Tony Blair with Garrard as principal sponsor with a financial contribution of £2.5 million. Garrard chaired its governing body.[8][9]

Before the 2005 General Election Garrard secretly provided the Labour Party with a loan of £2.3 million at a time when loans on commercial terms did not have to be declared,[10] to be repaid on 28 April 2007.[5][11] Following the discovery of the loan in the course of the Cash for Honours political scandal in the UK, Garrard withdrew his nomination for a peerage.[10][12][13] The loan was extended, and Gerrard eventually called for it to be repaid in 2015, in a reaction against the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.[14]

In 2013, Garrard hosted a visit to Israel by eleven Labour MPs, including shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy, shadow defence minister Gemma Doyle, Labour Friends of Israel chair Anne McGuire and vice-chair Louise Ellman.[15] He also sponsored the 2014 Labour Friends of Israel annual lunch, which included a speech by Labour leader Ed Miliband.[16][17]

In 2014, Garrard donated £500,000 to the Labour party, one of the largest private donations under Ed Miliband's leadership.[10] This prompted criticism of "double standards" when the media reported that Garrard had placed shares in an offshore trust to avoid tax, similar to Conservative donor and co-treasurer Lord Fink, whom Labour had criticised.[18]

Garrard left the Labour Party in March 2018 due to his unhappiness with the party's response to antisemitism.[19] In February 2019, Garrard added that he had concerns about the nation's future should Corbyn lead the country. "From the very outset of Mr Corbyn’s leadership I had feared the ultra-Left Marxist/Socialist nature of the Labour party’s new leadership and its supporters, all of which led me to conclude that a socialist republic for our nation was what these politicians intend". [20]

After leaving the party, he has provided funding on several occasions to Tom Watson in addition to his support for The Independent Group.[21]

The Independent Group[edit]

In February 2019 Garrard provided funding to support the launch of pro-EU political group The Independent Group; the amount as reported by The Sunday Telegraph was £1.5 million.[22][23] Of The Independent Group's eleven MPs, eight were formerly members of the Labour Party while six of these were members of Labour Friends of Israel, including its chair, Joan Ryan.[24]


Garrard was knighted in the 2003[1] New Year Honours.

Charitable activities[edit]

Garrard is a patron of children's charity Lifeline 4 Kids, is a trustee of the Police Foundation, and has been a director of the Princes Trust Business Division.[25]

Garrard donated £2.4 million to the Bexley Business Academy (now known as the Harris Garrard Academy), a first- and second-level school, and chaired its governing body.[26] The Business Academy Bexley was renamed the Harris Garrard Academy when it was taken over by the Harris Federation in 2017, to reflect the support Garrard had put into the academy.[27][self-published source?]

Personal life[edit]

Garrard was married for forty-seven years to Maureen, who became a director of The Garrard Family Foundation[28] and The Garrard Academy.[29] She died in 2011.[7] Garrard is Jewish.[30]


  1. ^ a b c d W. Rubinstein; Michael A. Jolles (27 January 2011). The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 631. ISBN 978-0-230-30466-6. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ Grammar School, Battersea (2018-04-26). "OGA Home Page - Old Grammarians - Battersea Grammar School". www.oldgrammarians.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  3. ^ "Andrew Rosenfeld". The Times. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2018. (subscription required)
  4. ^ "Property tycoon Sir David Garrard gives £500,000 to Labour party". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  5. ^ a b Rayner, Gordon (16 July 2014). "Labour donor 'tried to transfer £2.5m from daughter and son-in-law's joint account'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Sir David Garrard and family". The Sunday Times. London. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2018. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b Rayner, Gordon (16 July 2014). "Labour donor 'tried to transfer £2.5m from daughter and son-in-law's joint account'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Academy opens doors to the future". BBC News. 10 September 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  9. ^ Lightfoot, Liz (15 September 2004). "'Beacon' school takes on Ofsted". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Pickard, Jim (28 July 2014). "Property tycoon Sir David Garrard gives £500,000 to Labour party". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Labour Party full details of borrowings". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  12. ^ Wintour, Patrick (21 March 2006). "Labour seeks to damp down scandal by naming sources of £13.9m loans". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  13. ^ Seib, Christine (9 November 2005). "Allders workers rail against peerage for Garrard". The Times. Retrieved 31 March 2018. (subscription required)
  14. ^ Lyons, James; Woolf, Marie (4 October 2015). "Top Labour backer calls in £2m loan as donors revolt". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 April 2018. (subscription required)
  15. ^ Dysch, Marcus (24 September 2013). "Senior Labour MPs to join delegation to Israel". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  16. ^ Rocker, Simon (19 June 2014). "Miliband warms the hearts of the Labour Friends". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Ed Miliband - 2014 Speech to Labour Friends of Israel". UKPOL. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  18. ^ Lyons, James; Boswell, Josh; Thomas, Jon Ungoed (15 February 2015). "Top Labour donor in tax haven row". =The Times. London. Retrieved 1 April 2018. (subscription required)
  19. ^ Savage, Michael (31 March 2018). "Leading Jewish donor ditches Labour over antisemitism". The Observer. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  20. ^ Savage, Michael (23 February 2019). "Corbyn told: change course before it's too late for Labour". The Observer. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  21. ^ Millar, Phil (28 April 2018). "Tom Watson criticised for taking money from Change UK funder". Morning Star. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  22. ^ Malnick, Edward (23 February 2019). "One of Labour's biggest private backers gives £1.5m to The Independent Group". Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  23. ^ Savage, Michael (23 February 2019). "Corbyn told: change course before it's too late for Labour". The Observer. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  24. ^ "LFI Supporters in Parliament". ”Labour Friends of Israel”. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Trustees and patrons". The Police Foundation. 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  26. ^ "Blair told police donors were being honoured for services to Labour". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  27. ^ "The Garrard Academy and the Harris Federation". Harris Federation. 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2018. We are pleased to be using the name Garrard in the title to reflect the work and support that The Garrard Foundation and Sir David Garrard have put into the academy so far.
  28. ^ "THE GARRARD FAMILY FOUNDATION - Officers (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  29. ^ Academy, The Garrard (2018-04-26). "THE GARRARD ACADEMY - Officers (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  30. ^ Singer, David; Grossman, Lawrence (2003). American Jewish Year. VNR AG. p. 377. ISBN 978-0-87495-126-4. Retrieved 1 April 2018.