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 2012, Lord Ashcroft was appointed to the Privy Council and was made the Prime Minister’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. Lord Ashcroft gave up his seat in the House of Lords in 2015 to concentrate on other areas of his life and resigned as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition in 2018.
Lord Ashcroft is Honorary Chairman of the International Democratic Union (IDU), having previously served the group as Treasurer. He is also one of Britain’s leading experts on polling, making the results of his research available on his website, in books and in pamphlets.
Lord Ashcroft has been a successful entrepreneur for nearly half a century launching, buying, building and selling companies – both private and public – in Britain and overseas, notably the US and the Caribbean. 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 (then worth £3.7 billion).
He has donated tens of millions of pounds to charities and similar good causes since the 1980s. Lord Ashcroft tends to donate to 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 was Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in Essex from 2001 to 2020. His numerous other charitable roles include being Vice Patron of the Intelligence Corps Museum 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 17 books, primarily on politics and gallantry. His six books on gallantry are Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes, George Cross Heroes, Heroes of the Skies, Special Ops Heroes and Victoria Cross Heroes Volume II. He has often lectured on gallantry, including to the Cheltenham Literature Festival. He blogs regularly on the Conservative Home website (www.conservativehome.com).