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David Martin Abrahams (born 13 November 1944)[1] is an English property developer and political activist.[2]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Abrahams was born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland and brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne as the only child in a strongly political family.[3][4] His father Bennie Abrahams (1906–1990) was a Labour councillor for the Monkchester ward of Newcastle City Council, and served as the city's Lord Mayor for one year in 1981-2.[5]

Political careerEdit

Abrahams was a councillor for the Labour Party on Tyne and Wear County Council from 1979 to 1983.[6] He was selected as the Labour candidate for Richmond, Yorkshire in the 1992 General Election but was deselected after a "bitter row".[7][8] In 1997 he was unsuccessful in his attempt at selection for the seat of Wansbeck near Newcastle.[6]

A close associate of Tony Blair and Lord Levy during the New Labour-era,[9] Abrahams was associated with a number of Jewish and pro-Israel groups such as the Trade Union Friends of Israel, the Community Security Trust, the Labour Friends of Israel and Academic Friends of Israel.[9] He provided £25,000 to found a chair in International Politics of the Middle East at Warwick University.[9]

Abrahams faced high-profile media accusations in 2007 that he had secretly made £630,000 in donations to the Labour Party,[10] by channelling the donations through four different individuals in what was thought to have been a breach of the electoral law on transparent disclosure.[11] The Donorgate scandal put pressure on then Prime Minister Gordon Brown who set up an internal enquiry, although no report has ever been published.[12] Abrahams was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing by the police, according to a statement issued by his solicitor Louis Charalambous, a partner with the London law firm Simons Muirhead and Burton, in April 2008.[13]

The BBC spotlighted Abrahams in their 'Political Lives' series in February 2014, detailing his life's work.[14] In the BBC interview footage he stated that "I've been active politically all my life, still am and still taking an active interest in Labour – these things don't go away. But it's not the be all and end all, being in the Commons – people have still got the qualities, got the skills, still got the talent and use them in different directions."[14]

In April 2016, following high-profile remarks made by a Labour MP Naz Shah and the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, Abrahams said that he would no longer financially support the Labour party, claiming it was becoming increasingly anti-semitic.[15] He had ended his membership of the Labour Party after 48 years by late March 2018 because Labour under Jeremy Corbyn had failed to tackle the issue.[16]

Other InterestsEdit

Abrahams is a Freeman of the City of London.

He has served as Vice-Chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement and on the Executive of the Trade Union Friends of Israel.[8]

In 2010, it was reported that "he supports more than 70 charitable and voluntary organisations, including male cancer research charity 'Every Man Alive'".[3]

Abrahams' Twitter page is @davidabrahams 8, where he describes himself as "working for peace in the Middle East and prosperity in the North East (UK)".

BusinessEdit

In 2010, Abrahams was reported to be finalising a £1 billion business park at Durham Green, County Durham.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www2.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/information.pl?r=188215095&d=bmd_1390257354. https://books.google.com/books?id=hJc8afOZV0QC&pg=PA8&dq=abrahams,+david+martin&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VIMXU6LuEYabtAbS9IGgDw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=abrahams%2C%20david%20martin&f=false The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History (2011), p. 8. Company House records
  2. ^ Bright, Martin (14 January 2011). "Abrahams in bid to broker peace deal". The Jewish Chronicle.
  3. ^ a b http://www.thejc.com/business/business-features/28274/abrahams-my-%C2%A31bn-gift-north-east
  4. ^ Alex Hunt (17 February 2014). "Political Lives: David Abrahams". BBC. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  5. ^ https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/sites/default/files/wwwfileroot/your-council-and-democracy/councillors-and-democracy/lord_mayors_and_sheriffs_1974_to_date_1.pdf
  6. ^ a b http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/who+is+david+abrahams/1105647.html
  7. ^ Guardian profile
  8. ^ a b https://books.google.com/books?id=hJc8afOZV0QC&pg=PA8&dq=abrahams,+david+martin&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VIMXU6LuEYabtAbS9IGgDw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=abrahams%2C%20david%20martin&f=false
  9. ^ a b c "David Abrahams' glory days as Blair ally". The Telegraph. 2 December 2007.
  10. ^ "Abrahams makes proxy donor claim". BBC News. 1 December 2007.
  11. ^ BBC News Profile of David Abrahams
  12. ^ Winnett, Robert (29 November 2007). "Hunt for 'mystery benefactor' in Gordon Brown's donations scandal". The Telegraph.
  13. ^ Wintour, Patrick (28 April 2008). "Police clear donor Abrahams". The Guardian.
  14. ^ a b Hunt, Alex (17 February 2014). "Political Lives: David Abrahams". BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  15. ^ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/north-east-labour-donor-said-11259541
  16. ^ Harpin, Lee (28 March 2018). "Major Jewish Labour donor explains why he has quit the party". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Labour donor David Abrahams' gift to the north-east". The Guardian. 31 January 2010.