News McAfee claims to have lost the majority of his fortune during the financial crisis

Tycoon leaves US for Canada after building manager says guns and gangs made him fear for his life

The Ashcroft Affair: Leaked FO memos cast doubt on reputation

MICHAEL ASHCROFT, the billionaire treasurer of the Conservative Party, has one major problem - the British Establishment does not trust him.

Leading Article: Mr Hague should cool his ardour for his party treasurer

IT IS not difficult to guess what attracted William Hague, a man who inherited a bankrupt party, to the Tories' treasurer, the billionaire businessman Michael Ashcroft. It is more tricky to see what Mr Ashcroft saw in Mr Hague. Perhaps it was Mr Ashcroft's liking for a long shot; as Steven Norris, the former Tory minister, once said: "He's like the guy who backs Jamaica in the World Cup." Perhaps it was the prospect of a peerage, although he was refused one in the Queen's birthday honours on the advice of the all-party Scrutiny Committee. Or perhaps it was the impulse to add another trinket to his eclectic collection, which currently includes, among other things, a London taxi, Victoria Crosses and a slice of the Belize economy. He has not exactly acquired the Tory Party. But he has been keeping it afloat, to the tune of pounds 2m.

The Ashcroft Affair: Revealed: The Tory deal that saved Ashcroft millions in tax

JOHN MAJOR'S government put pressure on the Central American state of Belize to save millions of pounds in tax for the billionaire Tory treasurer, Michael Ashcroft.

Revealed: How Tories helped save Ashcroft millions in tax

JOHN MAJOR'S government put pressure on the Central American state of Belize to save the billionaire Tory treasurer, Michael Ashcroft, from paying millions of pounds in tax.

Gardening: Spend, spend, spend

GARDENS ARE for sitting in as well as working at - though wherever I sit, I always see something that needs doing, so the sitting is short lived. Junk shops are a useful hunting ground for garden chairs. An old wooden (or Lloyd Loom) chair, a can of spray paint, and you can provide garden seating for less than pounds 10 a throw.

Ashcroft still hopes for a place in Lords

WILLIAM HAGUE'S controversial party treasurer is still hoping for a peerage despite being blocked by the committee which scrutinises political honours, it was revealed yesterday.

Comment: The Tory Party piranha

Profile: Michael Ashcroft

The 50 Best beaches; TODAY'S FORECAST: IS VERY SUNNY INDEED

Life, as they say, is a beach: but which of the world's greatest strands is the one for you? For this week's 50 Best, Rhiannon Batten, with help from Lucy Gillmore and Simon Calder, has combed the globe, from Scotland to the Seychelles, looking for the best places to surf, stroll, shimmy or sunbathe. All you have to do is bring a towel ...

Tory move for backer's peerage is blocked

MICHAEL ASHCROFT, the controversial millionaire businessman and Conservative Party treasurer, has been refused a peerage even though he was formally nominated by William Hague.

Travel: Latin America - The king of the jungle

A trip to Tikal in Guatemala is well worth the effort. By Rhiannon Batten

Travel: Meet St Francis of the sea

Ingrid Kennedy goes snorkelling with Ras, a diver who has a magic touch with the exotic fish that swim off Belize

Prescott attacks flag 'buccaneers'

JOHN PRESCOTT launched a stinging attack yesterday on the "flag of convenience" shipping register of the central American state of Belize, which is controlled by Michael Ashcroft, the Conservative Party treasurer and multi-millionaire.

PARLIAMENT: SAFETY AT SEA; Tory attacked over Belize shipping links

THE CONSERVATIVE treasurer was attacked in the House of Lords yesterday for his links to a "flag of convenience" shipping register with one of the worst safety records in the world.

Curious case of the high-flying Tory treasurer and the sinking ships

HE'S A multi-millionaire, treasurer of the Tory party, a City takeover expert, tax exile, ambassador to the United Nations, and friend of the Thatchers - Michael Ashcroft's cv is impressive.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
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Scrambled eggs and LSD

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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

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Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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