Pippa Middleton's husband James and Spencer Matthews claim furlough

EXCLUSIVE: Pippa Middleton’s billionaire husband James Matthews and Made in Chelsea star brother Spencer BOTH claim taxpayers’ money to furlough staff

  • James and Spencer Matthews appear on government furlough list  in December
  • Both claimed government compensation for staff at their companies 
  • Hedge fund boss James, 45, applied for his Scottish shooting estate, Glen Affric
  • Spencer put in for furlough on behalf of his fledgling company Clean Liquor Co  

Pippa Middleton’s billionaire husband James Matthews and his Made in Chelsea star brother Spencer have both been claiming taxpayers’ money to furlough staff, MailOnline has learned.

Hedge fund boss James, 45, is believed to have been using the government handouts to pay the six employees of his Scottish shooting estate, Glen Affric.

Younger brother Spencer, 32, worth an estimated £3m, has also furloughed staff at his start-up low alcohol drinks firm, The Clean Liquor Co, established in June 2020.

The state-funded Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS), running since the first lockdown almost a year ago, is designed to help cash-strapped employers survive the lean months of the pandemic, but eyebrows will be raised at two such high net worth individuals taking advantage of the public money. 

Pippa Middleton’s billionaire husband James Matthews (the couple together in St Barts in 2019) and his Made in Chelsea star brother Spencer have both been claiming taxpayers’ money to furlough staff, MailOnline has learned

Younger brother Spencer, 32, worth an estimated £3m, has also furloughed staff at his start-up low alcohol drinks firm, The Clean Liquor Co, established in June 2020 (pictured promoting his company with wife Vogue Williams)

Hedge fund boss James, 45, is believed to have been using the government handouts to pay the six employees of his Scottish shooting estate, Glen Affric (pictured in promotional material above with James Middleton, Pippa’s brother, on the bonnet)

Both companies appear on the government’s published list of firms which made use of the furlough scheme during December, but previous months have not been made public.

Under the CJRS, furloughed workers receive 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month.  The government website did not reveal what staff at both Matthews companies earn.

The Clean Liquor Co. Ltd lists Spencer as its only director and was only incorporated in June 2020. However, before setting up the limited company he received an investment from a US venture capital firm for £1.45m.

Old Etonian Spencer, who became famous on the upmarket reality show MIC, recently became teetotal, and set up his firm to produce low and no-alcohol ‘rum’ and gin as a healthy alternative to traditional spirits.

Spencer is also a director of the Eden Rocks gems business, with jeweller Neil Duttson, which he launched in 2019 after helping design an engagement ring for his Irish model wife Vogue Williams. 

They got married at Glen Affric in 2018, have two children and have spent lockdown in London.

No accounts are publicly available for the Clean Liquor Co. yet due to its recent incorporation.

Racing driver-turned city trader James, who was privately educated at Uppingham School, married the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister Pippa in 2017, having proposed with a 3.5 carat £200,000 diamond ring the previous year.

James, who has also spent lockdown in the capital with his wife, is set to inherit the Scottish courtesy title of ‘Laird of Glen Affric’ which came with the 10,000-acre estate of the same name near Inverness that his father bought in 2008. James is listed as managing director of Beaufort Glen Affric. 


Both companies appear on the government’s published list of firms which made use of the furlough scheme during December, but previous months have not been made public. Under the CJRS, furloughed workers receive 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month

Old Etonian Spencer, who became famous on the upmarket reality show MIC, recently became teetotal, and set up his firm to produce low and no-alcohol ‘rum’ and gin as a healthy alternative to traditional spirits

Spencer and Vogue married in 2018 and have two children and have spent lockdown in London. No accounts are publicly available for the Clean Liquor Co. yet due to its recent incorporation

The estate’s website lists six employees at Glen Affric, and it is believed they are the furloughed workers, as due to the lockdown, paying guests would no longer be able to hire the impressive mansion for shooting parties or other occasions. 

One of James’ smaller companies, Beaufort Glen Affric Ltd, based in Inverness, was in the red to the tune of £9.95m, according to the latest published accounts in 2019. It is this company, believed to handle the running of the Glen Affric Estate, which has claimed under the CJRS.

Having launched his own hedge fund company, Eden Rock Capital Management Group – named after his father David’s exclusive £1,000-a-night hotel in St Barths – in 2017, James was estimated to be ‘close to’ to being a billionaire by founder of the Wealth Quotient website, David Friedman. More recent estimates of his wealth have put it at up to £2bn.

He owns a £3m private jet and bought a six-bedroomed, £17m house in 2014, which boasts a car-stacking garage in the basement, along with an underground home cinema and a lift.

The CJRS scheme was launched on March 20, 2020, initially for three months, then extended several times and will now run until the end of April 2021.

Initially the scheme was only for those workers who were on their company’s payroll on or before 28 February 2020; this was later changed to 19 March 2020, making 200,000 additional workers eligible. On the first day of operation 140,000 companies applied to use the scheme and its cost has been estimated at £14 billion a month to run.

Spencer dropped out of a degree in Film and Television at the University of Southern California and went on to dabble in nightclub promotion for London clubs such as Prince Harry’s favourite, Boujiis, before going to work as a foreign exchange broker.

Racing driver-turned city trader James, who was privately educated at Uppingham School, married the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister Pippa in 2017, having proposed with a 3.5 carat £200,000 diamond ring the previous year

James, who has also spent lockdown in the capital with his wife, is set to inherit the Scottish courtesy title of ‘Laird of Glen Affric’ which came with the 10,000-acre estate of the same name near Inverness that his father bought in 2008. Pictured: Spencer at Glen Affric

Spencer and James’ brother Michael died at the age of 22 when descending Mt Everest. Both the brothers are directors of the Michael Matthews Foundation, a charity in his memory which supports education projects in Asia and Africa.

A spokesperson for James Matthews and Spencer Matthews declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance warned that the public have long memories about those who failed to help the national effort during the lockdown.

He said: ‘Lockdown has had a massive impact upon the economy and now every penny really does count. Some businesses have repaid the support offered to them by taxpayers.

‘They should serve as an example for other firms that have come through the past year in rude health. ‘Taxpayers have long memories of those that helped in the national effort and those that didn’t.’

Tory MP Tom Hunt agreed, saying: ‘It doesn’t help the situation if people claim who might not need to.

‘I fully support the furlough scheme, but I would hope that wealthy individuals who are claiming from the scheme do bear in mind that this is public money for those who really need it and that it’s for the public good.’ 

The estate’s website lists six employees at Glen Affric, and it is believed they are the furloughed workers, as due to the lockdown, paying guests would no longer be able to hire the impressive mansion for shooting parties or other occasions

A spokesperson for James Matthews and Spencer Matthews declined to comment. John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance warned that the public have long memories about those who failed to help the national effort during the lockdown.

When Victoria Beckham was revealed to have been using the furlough scheme for 30 staff at her fashion company last year, she swiftly performed a U-turn and handed back the cash. 

Victoria whose combined £335m fortune with husband David, is a fraction of that of James Matthews’ wealth, was said to be ‘devastated’ by the public reaction to her using the scheme.

Earlier this week, former rugby star Mike Tindall, 42, married to the Queen’s grand-daughter Zara Phillips, was criticised for using the govt furlough scheme, apparently to pay himself, through his company which handles his income from public speaking. 

Source: Read Full Article