The multi-millionaire and former Tory party donor Sir Tim Rice has given money to Ukip, it has been reported.
Sir Tim, who said he is "intruiged" by the Eurosceptic party, is believed to have donated up to £7,500 to Ukip last year after he had lunch with the party’s treasurer Stuart Wheeler, who disclosed the amount to The Sunday Times.
The amount has not been made public because it falls below the threshold requiring automatic disclosure by political parties under the Electoral Commission’s rules.
Mr Wheeler, who is also a millionaire and former Conservative party supporter, told the newspaper: “I’m glad to confirm to you that Tim Rice has actually been a donor to UKIP,” adding: “It was about a year ago.”
Asked by the newspaper if Rice planned to make further donations, Mr Wheeler said: “You never know. We might try him again. He was very friendly.”
69-year-old Oscar-winning Sir Tim, who has written lyrics for musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar and more recently From Here to Eternity, used to be a fundraiser for the Conservatives and was a guest at Baroness Thatcher’s funeral last year.
However, he was quoted in 2007 saying that he felt “unloved” by the Tories under David Cameron, and claimed the party was “not interested in me or my Neanderthal views”.
He told The Sunday Times: “I’m not going to say whether I’ve given money [to UKIP]. I’ve given money over the years to lots of political causes...Any close contact I had with UKIP was a long time ago.”
Sir Tim added that he is “definitely a Eurosceptic” and was “intrigued” by UKIP as a “political phenomenon”.
He said: “UKIP are clearly on the scene now, which they weren’t a few years ago.
“On the whole I think there are lots of major problems with Europe. I think we should almost certainly be away, be free from Europe.”
He also confirmed that he had met the party's leader Nigel Farage, and described him as “a very entertaining personality”.