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Company that won contracts worth millions is run by Tory donor Maurizio Bragagni OBE who gave £650k

The cable magnate has close ties to the Conservatives having donated to the party and hired a Tory MP to work for his charity

A businessman who has donated more than £650,000 to the Conservative Party since 2015 owns a company which has won more than £3 million worth of government contracts in that time.

Dr Maurizio Bragagni, CEO of cable manufacturer Tratos, first donated to the Tories in 2015 and received an OBE in June 2021.

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Firm that has won multiple public sector contracts has strong links to Conservative Party

Since June 2017 Tratos LTD has won 9 contracts worth over £3.4 million overall to provide cabling, primarily to Highways England.

The firm, run by Dr Maurizio Bragagni OBE, is a part of the Tratos Group, an international cable manufacturer based in Italy with a large facility in Knowsley.

Dr Bragagni has had close ties with the Conservative Party throughout this period, as a key member of the British Italian Conservatives group.

The Conservative donor was also made consul to San Marino in 2019, employed a Conservative MP as a non-executive director at his charitable foundation in 2019 and received an OBE for services to business and voluntary political services in 2021.

The Conservative Party has been accused of cronyism in relation to a number of contracts given out to companies with links to the party, particularly during the pandemic.

Earlier this month NationalWorld revealed that a former Conservative council candidate and a prominent party donor were among the main beneficiaries of contracts to provide HGV training.

President of the Pertemps group, Timothy Watts, has donated more than £20,000 to the Conservative Party since 2007, including £2,000 in 2015 to Stratford-upon-Avon MP, Nadhim Zahawi.

Mr Zahawi is the current Secretary of State at the Department for Education, which is the primary department responsible for administering the HGV Skills Bootcamps scheme.

Pertemps won a contract worth over £2.4 million, while HGV Training Services, run by former Conservative council candidate, Gary Benardout, won the largest contract associated with the scheme, worth £6.4 million.

How much has Maurizio Bragagni donated to the Conservatives?

Since 2015 the Conservative Party has received more than 60 donations from either Dr Bragagni or Tratos, totalling £670,197.

The first donation of £50,000 came in June 2015, with a further £16,000 donated before the end of the year.

By 12 October 2016, when Tratos Cavi, part of the Tratos Group, took part in a Department for International Trade roundtable, the Conservative Party had received a further £56,200 in donations.

Both individually and through his company Dr Bragagni donated a further £126,000 between October 2016 and May 2017, at the height of the general election campaign, bringing the total to almost a quarter of a million in less than two years.

In June 2017 Tratos Ltd won a contract worth £915,000 to supply cable to Newcastle City Council along with three other suppliers.

Over the following four years between June 2017 and June 2021, Dr Bragagni and Tratos donated a further £342,954 and won a further seven contracts, worth a total of £1.6 million.

In June 2021 Dr Bragagni received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

In the following months another two contracts were awarded to Tratos, including the largest one yet at almost £1.3 million, worth a total of £1.8 million.

Between October 2021 and April 2022 Dr Bragagni and Tratos have donated a further £79,043.

Tratos is also one of four firms awarded a tender worth up to £100 million in total, to supply cable to Network Rail on an ongoing basis.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on behalf of the Conservative Party, Tratos or Dr Bragagni.

A DfT Spokesperson said: “All Government contracts follow strict guidelines and are awarded on a number of factors, including providing the best value for money for the taxpayer.”

What other links are there between Maurizio Bragagni and the Conservative Party?

As well as donations, Dr Bragagni has close ties to the Conservative Party and has done for some time.

He is a key member of the British Italian Conservatives (BIC) group, which according to its website, aims to “be a bridge between the Italian and the British communities”.

The group charges up to £3,000 annually for membership, though members at this tier are rewarded with the “possibility to meet the Patrons of BIC” and to “participate at the Conservative Party [conference] an event between the Black & White Party and the Carlton Dinner”.

Dr Bragagni stepped down as chairman of the group on 9 December 2021, having been a central figure since its inception.

Members and patrons of the group include Conservative MPs Greg Clark, Mark Field and former Conservative London mayoral candidates Shaun Bailey and Lord Goldsmith.

Speaking at the group’s Annual General Meeting in 2019 then BIC president Alberto Costa MP thanked Dr Bragagni, “for all the support that you have been giving to the Conservatives and friends of Italy”.

He added: “Without your help and your support this organization simply wouldn’t exist. So, I think before I say anything I would just like us all to give a round of applause to Mr Maurizio Bragagni of Tratos.”

Conservative MP for South Holland and the Deepings, John Hayes, was employed as a non-executive director at a charitable foundation owned by Dr Bragagni for nine months, in 2019.

Between 5 January and 30 June, Mr Hayes spent 1.5 days per month “promoting Esharelife’s charitable work” in exchange for £12,000, or around £166 per hour.

Maurizio Bragagni was given an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year, for services to business and voluntary political service.

Nominations are considered by a committee of experts in the field of work, before being put to the Prime Minister and then finally the Queen for approval.

Tratos has been linked with a new factory in Anglesey which it is claimed would bring 300 jobs to the local area, although the development relies upon a freeport agreement being put in place between the UK and Welsh devolved governments.

Speaking in a Welsh Affairs committee debate on 17 June 2021, Conservative MP for Yns Mon Virginia Crosbie criticised the failure to reach an agreement over the freeport.

She said: “The Italian company, Tratos, and Rolls-Royce are keen to invest in Anglesey once, as is hoped, the island has freeport status.”

The following month Crosbie was accompanied by Dr Bragagni on a visit to Amlwch Port to discuss the project.

NationalWorld contacted the Conservative Party, Dr Maurizio Bragagni and Tratos but received no response to a request for comment on this article.