Lord Ashcroft’s Biography
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is an international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster.
He was knighted and made a member of the House of Lords in 2000, while serving as Treasurer of the Conservative Party. He later served as Deputy Chairman of the party. In September 2012, Lord Ashcroft was appointed to the Privy Council and was made the Government’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition, working with all departments to ensure military personnel receive the support they need when making the transition back to civilian life. He is Treasurer of the International Democratic Union (IDU) and one of Britain’s leading experts on polling.
Lord Ashcroft has been a successful entrepreneur for the past four decades, launching, buying, building and selling companies – both private and public – in Britain and overseas. During this time, he has had a wide range of business interests, including involvement in security, service industries, financial services, recruitment, banking and publishing companies. In 1997, Lord Ashcroft negotiated the sale of his security company, ADT, to Tyco International for more than $6.7 billion (£3.7 billion).
He has donated several millions of pounds to charities and similar good causes since the 1980s. Lord Ashcroft tends to invest in projects close to his heart, including crime fighting, education and the military, in general, and gallantry, in particular. He founded Crimestoppers (then the Community Action Trust) in 1988 and to this day it remains the only charity in Britain that solves crime. He has built the largest collection of Victoria Crosses (VCs) in the world, which is currently on display in a gallery bearing his name at the Imperial War Museum. He is the founder of the Ashcroft Technology College in south-west London, and Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in Essex, where he has funded major projects. His numerous other charitable roles include being Vice Patron of the Intelligence Corps Museum, a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum Foundation Ltd and a Trustee of the Cleveland Clinic in the US. Lord Ashcroft has signed up to the Giving Pledge, meaning he is one of a small number of extremely rich individuals or families worldwide who have promised to donate more than half of their wealth to philanthropy.
Lord Ashcroft is an author, military historian and blogger. He has written eight books, primarily on politics and gallantry. His three books on politics are Dirty Politics Dirty Times, Smell The Coffee – A wake-up call for the Conservative Party and Minority Verdict – The Conservative Party, the voters and the 2010 election. His five books on gallantry are Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies and Special Ops Heroes. He has often lectured on gallantry, including to the Cheltenham Literature Festival. He blogs regularly on the Conservative Home website.