JCB chairman once again named as candidate for peerage

Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of construction equipment company, JCB has once again been framed as “next in line for a peerage”.

Sir Anthony, who is an active champion of UK manufacturing in government circles, is also a leading donor for the Conservative party.

Cumulatively, the JCB chairman is thought to have donated around £2m to the Tory party, both personally and through his company.

A Conservative spokesperson told the Evening Standard yesterday that the industry leader is now earmarked for a peerage and has the personal backing of David Cameron in this.

David Cameron has been accused in the past of exploiting peerages as a means of rewarding Party backers, but the Evening Standard’s source said that: “It is a matter of time before Anthony Bamford appears on a list of peers because he is eminently qualified to sit in the House of Lords by virtue of his contribution to business and to good causes.”

Sir Anthony has been nominated for a peerage before. In 2010 he claim close to receiving the honour but was forced to withdraw after questions were raised around outstanding tax obligations. These allegations were firmly denied by Bamford who commented at the time that: “”I knew it was all utterly untrue but thought the best thing to do at that time was to withdraw.”

The Evening Standard’s Conservative source supported this view saying: “It was very unfair that his nomination was held up because his affairs all seem to be perfectly in order.”

Sir Anthony has recently advised government on the formation of industrial policy and published a report which urged government to cut tax for UK manufacturers in order to create a more competitive environment for the industry.