Cabinet Office minister and Tory MP Michael Gove has recently accepted £100,000 in donations from a British-German property magnate.
Two payments of £50,000 each from millionaire property developer Zachariasz “Zak” Gertler have been recorded last month in the Houses of Parliament’s Register of Members’ Interests.
In 2019, Mr Gertler had also donated £10,000 to Mr Gove during the Conservative Party leadership contest.
In 2016, he also donated £10,000 to Mr Gove to the Tories’ leadership contest sparked by the post-EU referendum resignation of David Cameron that year – taking the total to at least £120,000 over five years.
Mr Gertler has been called “one of London’s leading property developers” by The London Magazine, and Companies House lists the 65-year-old as a resident of Israel.
His family has owned commercial properties in Britain and Germany, mainly offices and retail units in central London and Frankfurt.
The company Gertler Estates was established by his father Moritz, who was a Holocaust survivor.
Frankfurt-born Mr Gertler is a close friend of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and hosted his 70th birthday party at his house, according to a report by Jerusalem Post in 2019.
That same year, Mr Gove – who is a staunch critic of the pro-Palestine boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – had said in a speech at a United Jewish Israel Appeal fundraising dinner: “One thing I have always been since I was a boy is a Zionist.”
When the Independent approached Mr Gove’s office to comment on his link to Mr Gertler, a spokesperson said: “The Conservative Party, and its elected representatives, are supported by membership, fundraising and donations.
“All reportable donations are properly and transparently declared to the relevant authorities, published by them, and comply fully with the law.”
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