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Irish tycoon tipped to be next Tory treasurer describes Boris Johnson as 'refreshing'


‘Deserves chance’: John Griffin is a fan of UK leader Boris Johnson

‘Deserves chance’: John Griffin is a fan of UK leader Boris Johnson

‘Deserves chance’: John Griffin is a fan of UK leader Boris Johnson

Multi-millionaire taxi tycoon and Brexit supporter John Griffin - born in Mayo - could become the Conservative Party's treasurer.

The entrepreneur sold his taxi firm Addison Lee to US private equity firm the Carlyle Group for €357m in 2013, banking almost €180m for his 50pc stake.

He has donated £4m (€4.3m) to the Conservative party since 2010, according to filings at the UK's Electoral Commission.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, the London-based Irishman said if he is appointed as treasurer, he will seek to reduce its reliance on wealthy donors and raise money from a broader group of party members, setting a minimum of £50 (€54.50).

The 76-year-old, whose parents emigrated to Britain when he was a child, said he would "rise to the challenge" if approached - in light of the resignation of treasurer Mick Davis earlier this week.

"Boris [Johnson] has asked for my support," he said.

"I'd like to see money come from people across a broader spectrum [of society], allowing donations to start at £50 a year. There's also a need to increase the membership and get more people involved in the party.

"The party will have to see who could get them the funding that they need. If the role is offered to me, I'll rise to the challenge. I feel that I can inspire people to get involved and support the Tories."

Commenting on the UK prime minister, he said: "He's a Trump-like phenomenon. In some respects, his approach is refreshing. Britain is definitely leaving the EU.

"He deserves an opportunity to prove what he has said he would do is doable, or will he blow the opportunity?"

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