Tiphook lifts Tory donation

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TIPHOOK, the transport rental company that recently reported pre-tax losses of pounds 21.8m after changing its accounting policies, has doubled its contributions to the Conservative Party, writes David Hellier.

The company's report and accounts, published yesterday, showed that the group made political contributions of pounds 80,000 to the Conservatives during the year to 30 April, up from pounds 40,000 the year before. The contributions have soared from only pounds 3,000 since Sir Charles Powell, previously Margaret Thatcher's private secretary, joined the board as a non-executive director in 1992.

The report also shows that the salary of Robert Montague, chairman and chief executive, rose to pounds 851,000 from pounds 842,000, excluding pension contributions. Recently there has been pressure on Mr Montague to separate his twin roles. Last week it was announced that Rupert Hambro, a non-executive director, would become deputy chairman. He has promised to initiate an appraisal of directors' salaries and a reduction in boardroom costs is expected in the current year.