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.
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
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Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
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The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
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Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
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Cameron Jerome
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artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
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Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
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Day In a Page

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine