• Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Zia Yusuf emerges biggest donor to Reform UK campaign

Yusuf, co-founder of the luxury concierge app Velocity Black, has donated a substantial amount to Reform UK

Zia Yusuf (Photo: X/@ZiaYus)

By: Pramod Thomas

BRITISH ASIAN entrepreneur Zia Yusuf has emerged as the biggest donor to Reform UK’s election campaign.

Yusuf, co-founder of the luxury concierge app Velocity Black, has donated a substantial amount to Reform UK. He criticised the Tory government’s immigration policies and advocated for stronger border control, reported The Telegraph.

He sold Velocity Black for £233 million last year. His parents immigrated to Britain from Sri Lanka in the 1980s and worked within the NHS.

In his opinion, Nigel Farage has the right policies to address what he calls a “broken” country.

Yusuf’s financial support, the largest donation of the campaign so far, is a significant boost for Reform UK, which often faces accusations of racism from detractors.

Previously a Tory party member, Yusuf, 37, believes the party can no longer make the necessary “hard decisions.”

According to him, many Muslims in the UK are patriotic and feel that current levels of net migration are unsustainable. He pointed out that his parents migrated legally and that illegal Channel crossings undermine those who follow the rules.

“Britain has the potential to be a great country,” Yusuf said, citing iconic British companies like Dyson and DeepMind. “However, we’ve lost control of our borders, which is a factual statement.”

He noted that net migration was 50,000 when his parents arrived, facilitating easier assimilation. In contrast, last year’s figure of 650,000 is straining the NHS and housing availability, despite record spending on healthcare.

Born in Scotland, Yusuf moved to southern England with his family and earned a partial scholarship to Hampton School in Middlesex. He later left a high-paying job at Goldman Sachs to start Velocity Black with his school friend, Alex Macdonald.

The company, which caters to high-profile clients like Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding, provides services ranging from flight bookings to securing Wimbledon tickets. Last year, they sold the company to Capital One, with Yusuf and Macdonald each earning over £30m.

Yusuf feels let down by Sunak’s leadership and doubts Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s ability to provide effective governance.

“I’ve paid millions in taxes and created hundreds of jobs. Tough decisions need to be made promptly, which isn’t happening with the Tories. We need bold, courageous politicians to tackle issues like housing prices and NHS pressures. Nigel Farage and Richard Tice are the only ones willing to address these concerns,” he was quoted as saying.

Passionate about British values, Yusuf, who lives in Surrey, is contemplating his next steps after selling his business. He also stressed the importance of defending and promoting British values such as equality under the law, freedom of expression and religion, family values, and hard work.

He rejects claims that Reform UK’s policies are racist. “As a businessman and an entrepreneur, I’ve experienced racism and Islamophobia. Nigel Farage genuinely wants the best for Britain and its people, regardless of their religion or skin colour. My parents, who arrived here 40 years ago, contributed significantly to this country by working hard and advancing their careers,” he said.

Farage, commenting on Yusuf’s donation, said, “I’ve known Zia for many years and recognise his deep commitment to Britain. His generosity and active involvement will be invaluable to our campaign.”

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