The typo that turned Tory donor Alisa Swidler into 'Mrs Swindler'

American philanthropist gave party £65,000

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Indy Politics

It was, to say the least, an unfortunate typo. Diligently recording a generous donation to the Conservative Party by Alisa Swidler, a wealthy American philanthropist who has lived in the UK since 2002, someone at the Electoral Commission accidentally inserted a rogue “n”.

Perhaps fortunately for the Tories, the “Mrs Alisa Swindler” who was officially recorded as giving £65,000 to the party in December last year does not exist. The error, which the Conservatives insisted was not their fault, was hastily corrected by embarrassed officials tonight.

But the episode drew attention to the real donor, who is every bit as colourful as her misspelled name suggests. A regular contributor to the US lifestyle magazine Town & Country, Mrs Swidler describes herself on her blog as a “global humanitarian, philanthropist and mother of five”.

Entitled “The Buccaneer: A Busy New Yorker in London”, her internet diary provides an insight into her jet-setting lifestyle and is illustrated with numerous selfies of her with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Paul McCartney and Stephen Fry. It also mentions her encounters with David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Theresa May at various Conservative Party events.

“Collected husband and headed to Patek Philippe’s Bond Street boutique for a black tie dinner in a secret location. I kid you not! Holy cow, after in-store cocktails we were ferried away in a fleet of S-classes to Somerset House for a decadent dinner that started with duck egg parfait and ended with the best tarte tatin I’ve ever tasted,” reads one typical entry.

According to an online biography, over the past five years Mrs Swidler has done philanthropic work with the Clintons and Sir Richard Branson, and has served on the boards of Save the Children and the London homelessness charity Centrepoint, whose patron is Prince William.