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Bitter family rift over fortune left to Tories

A widow who left her secret £750,000 fortune to the Tory Party was branded "wicked" by a furious relative.

Violet Baker in 1987
Violet Baker in 1987

A widow who left her secret £750,000 fortune to the Tory Party – and just £2,000 to the carer who devoted his life to her – was branded “wicked” by a furious relative.

Elsie Clark said she was astonished to learn her sister-in-law Violet Baker had handed the cash to the Conservatives – because her family were staunch Labour supporters.

Mrs Clark said her late brother Ray, who served with the Ghurkas in the army, amassed the fortune by careful saving and making wise share investments.

She said: “I’m thinking ‘What did he save all that money for?’ And to do what she’s done with it – she’s done that for spite.

“All that money was left to her and she didn’t want any of us to get our hands on it, she was a wicked woman.”

It emerged last weekend that Violet, who lived in Kilmorie Road, Acocks Green, and had no children, left a total of £769,000 to the Conservatives when she died aged 85 last March.

But she bequeathed just £2,000 to her neighbour Malcolm Baker, who spent more than three years caring for her after her husband died.

Mrs Clark, from Redditch, said Violet had never shown strong political beliefs – and didn’t even bother to vote.

And she urged the Tories to donate the cash to a good cause like Acorns Children’s Hospice.

“My family was staunch Labour,” Mrs Clark said.

“Our dad was very strict about that. He said ‘as soon as you’re old enough to vote – vote Labour’.

“I knew Ray had been saving but I never knew how much he’d got.

“He knew what he was doing, he’d got his head on straight.

“It makes you wonder if it’s worth saving your money or you should enjoy yourself instead.”

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “All donations accepted by the Conservative Party are fully permissible and declared to the Electoral Commission.

“She made the stipulation of how the money would be used. It’s for her lawyers to decide where the money goes.”



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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