Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ashcroft Contribution

I salute Michael Ashcroft for his generous offer to donate £5 million towards a new royal yacht to commemorate Her Majesty's diamond jubilee.

The Right Honourable Michael Anthony [Ashcroft], Baron Ashcroft KCMG, was created a life peer in 2000.

Lord Ashcroft, a former Conservative Party deputy chairman, has said he will contribute the money to the charitable trust trying to raise £100m to build a national flagship.

The trust is University of the Oceans; the project, FSP21.

Rear-Admiral David Bawtree CB DL (Rtd), the chairman of the trust, said he hoped Lord Ashcroft's move would encourage others to come forward and donate.

In a statement on his website, Lord Ashcroft said:
     The murmurings this week of a privately financed replacement for Britannia are hugely heartening, even if there is a very long way to go to make this happen. But I would like to be one of the first to offer tangible support to the concept, by offering up to £5m towards the construction costs of building a new, effective and flexible royal yacht.

The proposed vessel – 650ft long and as tall as St Paul's Cathedral – would provide education and vocational training for young people, facilities for scientific research, and a venue for trade missions and commercial exhibitions as well as staterooms for the use of the Royal Family on trips around the United Kingdom and overseas.

Lord Ashcroft added that the new vessel could be used by other members of the Royal Family.

The Prime Minister has offered his support to the project, and in a letter to the Admiral Bawtree in October described it as a "splendid idea".

David Cameron's official spokesman said this week that he would "react favourably" to requests for government assistance but believed it would be "inappropriate" for taxpayers' money to be used.


Anonymous said...

How about an Earldom for whosoever pays the lot? I'd rather see it solely as a Royal Yacht for the personal enjoyment of the Sovereign, none of this youth learning rubbish.


Timothy Belmont said...

To my mind, HM Government ought to fund it; i.e. the State. It is the least we can do as a measure of our esteem for The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.

furthermore, it should be called HM Yacht Britannia II, or something along those lines.

Rex Hunter said...

outrageous idea that the taxpayer should fund it in these times when such numbers of us are facing financial hardship. Thankfully nothing is more certain than that the Queen would decline such an inappropriate extravagance !

Timothy Belmont said...

Rex, I did suggest re-commissioning HMY Britannia.

Re Extravagance, our membership of the EU is more outrageous!