Profile: former Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas

Peter Cruddas Peter Cruddas left school at 15 and has amassed a multi-million pound fortune

The man at the heart of the cash for access sting was the principal treasurer of the Conservative Party for less than a month before he was forced resign.

Businessman Peter Cruddas founded the online financial services firm CMC Markets in 1989.

He launched the firm with £10,000 and built it into a global player.

The company deals in spread betting, foreign exchange and trading, and has partnerships in more than 30 countries.

It handles over 26 million trades each year and has an estimated value of £1.25 billion, according to the company's website.

Mr Cruddas, who left school aged 15, has amassed an estimated £750m fortune and is 90th in The Sunday Times Rich list.

In 2006 he set up his own charity, the Peter Cruddas Foundation, which aims to help disadvantaged and disengaged young people.

Mr Cruddas was born in 1953, and grew up on a council estate in Hackney in east London, attending Shoreditch Comprehensive School.

In an open letter on his charity's website, he says the decision to leave school early came down to money.

"Dad was a porter at Smithfield meat market while Mum worked as a cleaner and did a brilliant job bringing up three boys; during the war she stayed in London to look after her mum and could have been killed on many occasions."

He bemoans not being given the opportunity to go on to further education "even though I was smart enough and apparently I have an IQ of 155".

And he said the Scouts helped him to "escape a violent home situation".

He said it was the experience of the Scouts that prompted him to set up the charity.

"I found I could achieve things and built up my self-confidence," he said.

Mr Cruddas said he started out as a "dogsbody" on telex machines and "learned the ropes" of trading by working in banks.

He is the largest individual donor to the Duke of Edinburgh International Awards and the Prince's Trust, and supports the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

As a longstanding supporter of the Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet, he was invited to become a trustee and joined the board of the Royal Opera House earlier this month.

The Arsenal fan became Conservative co-treasurer in June last year, working alongside Stanley Fink.

He took his former colleague's place on the board of the Conservative Party on 1 March.

But he resigned his post on Sunday after secretly filmed footage showed him apparently offering access to the prime minister for a donation of £250,000 a year.

More Politics stories

RSS

Features

  • chocolate cake and strawberriesTrick your tongue

    Would this dessert taste different on a black plate?


  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George leaving New Zealand'Great ambassadors'

    How New Zealand reacted to William, Kate - and George


  • Major Power Failure ident on BBC2Going live

    Why BBC Two's launch was not all right on the night


  • Front display of radio Strange echoes

    What are the mysterious sequences of numbers read out on shortwave radio?


  • A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child'Be a star'

    Children's uplifting letters of hope to homeless Syrians


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.