Peter Andrew Cruddas
30 September 1953
|Residence||Monaco, Hertfordshire and Antibes|
|Occupation||Banker and businessman|
|Net worth||£1.025 billion|
|Children||4 (2 from each marriage)|
Peter Andrew Cruddas (born 30 September 1953) is an English banker, businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of online trading company CMC Markets. 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. As of March 2012, Forbes estimated his wealth at $1.3 billion.
Cruddas was appointed Conservative Party co-treasurer in June 2011. 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 exchange for cash donations of between £100,000 and £250,000. Cruddas resigned the same day.
In June 2013, Cruddas successfully sued The Sunday Times for libel over its coverage of him, which the High Court found had been defamatory. However, in March 2015, an appeal court reduced the libel damages and made Cruddas repay £130,000 of the original £180,000 in damages, ruling that the Sunday Times's central allegation around "cash for access" had been borne out by the facts, while also ruling that a series of subsidiary allegations made in the same Sunday Times article were still false and defamatory.
The son of a father who worked at Smithfield Market, Cruddas has an elder brother John and a twin brother Stephen, both of whom became taxi drivers. 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. Cruddas states his membership of the Boy Scouts as the reason for his early success, who taught him self-discipline and self-confidence:
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.
By 1989, Cruddas was the head foreign exchange dealer at the City of London branch of the Jordanian-based Petra Bank. He left the same year to set up his own business, starting CMC Markets with £10,000 in the bank. CMC Markets is currently valued at between £750 million and £1.2 billion.
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. Cruddas is the largest individual donor to the Duke of Edinburgh Award International Association, a board member of the Prince's Trust, and has donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
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.
In total, it is believed that Cruddas has donated over £350,000 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.
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. The Sunday Times had secretly filmed Cruddas allegedly discussing what level of access different size donations led to: "£200,000 to £250,000 is Premier League - things will open up for you - you can ask him practically any question you want." Cruddas resigned the same day.
The undercover journalists were introduced to Cruddas by Sarah Southern, a lobbyist who is David Cameron's former aide. The undercover reporters posed as overseas financiers and claimed that their clients intended to buy distressed government assets and wanted to make political connections.
In July 2012, the ConservativeHome blog reported that Cruddas was suing The Sunday Times for libel over its coverage of him. In June 2013, the High Court ruled in his favour and found that The Sunday Times articles had been defamatory. He was awarded £180,000 in damages on 31 July. However, in March 2015, all three judges of an appeal court ruled that the central allegation of the Sunday Times's story - that Crudas had offered "cash for access" to potential donors - was supported by the evidence, while they also ruled that a series of accompanying allegations made in the same Sunday Times article were still false and defamatory. Accordingly, they reduced the Sunday Times libel damages from £180,000 to £50,000, and ordered Cruddas to repay £130,000 of his £180,000 libel winnings.
Cruddas was resident in Monaco for a period until March 2009, commuting daily from an apartment on Avenue de Spélugues to London City Airport. 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." He plays golf with a low handicap, composes quatrains, and supports Arsenal F.C.
In 2016, Cruddas and his wife Fiona paid £42 million in cash for Balfour House a seven-storey Victorian mansion close to Park Lane in London's Mayfair, formerly owned by the Iranian-born art dealer Nasser Khalili, who lived there for 22 years.
- "Hackney People - Peter Cruddas". Hackney Council. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Sunday Times Rich List". The Sunday Times (page 34). 26 April 2014.
- Rigby, Elizabeth (25 March 2012). "PM's fundraiser quits over cash for access". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 March 2012., The Independent, 8 June 2011
- McSmith, Andy (8 June 2011). "'Very polished' rough diamond Peter Cruddas joins Tory treasury team". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Peter Cruddas". Forbes. March 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- Andy McSmith (8 June 2011). "'Very polished' rough diamond Peter Cruddas joins Tory treasury team". The Independent. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Tory Peter Cruddas sold access to PM, Sunday Times alleges". BBC News. BBC. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Conservatives Deny Sunday Times 'Cash For Access'". Sky News. British Sky Broadcasting. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Boffey, Daniel (25 March 2012). "Tory co-treasurer Peter Cruddas resigns over cash for access to prime minister". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- Halliday, Josh (5 June 2013). "Former Tory co-treasurer Peter Cruddas wins Sunday Times libel case". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Greenslade, Roy (17 March 2015). "Appeal court reduces damages award against Sunday Times to £50,000". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- Ponsford, Dominic (17 March 2015). "Sunday Times libel damages to Peter Cruddas reduced on appeal from £180k to £50k". Press Gazette. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- Teather, David (12 January 2007). "Interview : Peter Cruddas". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Peter Cruddas". Financial-Spread-Betting.com. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Peter Cruddas". Prince's Trust. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- 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.
- Davies, Caroline (26 March 2012). "Cash for access: Sarah Southern claims to be political consultant". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- 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.
- Ashcroft, Lord. "Lord Ashcroft: Should the Conservative Party learn lessons from the treament of Peter Cruddas?". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Ex-Tory treasurer Cruddas wins £180,000 libel damages". BBC News. BBC. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- "CMC tycoon Cruddas hands £50,000 to Johnson leadership bid". Sky News. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- Hellier, David (13 January 2016). "Brexit backer Peter Cruddas to sell £200m-plus of CMC Markets shares". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Top Brexit campaigner pays cash for £42m Mayfair mansion". standard.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.