THE company of a billionaire Tory donor claimed millions in furlough cash after returning profits of £75.3 million, it has been revealed.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when businesses were forced to close due to nationwide lockdowns, Wren Kitchens used the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme to fund staff costs despite filing millions in pre-tax profits in its 2020 accounts.

The firm's owner, Malcolm Healey personally donated £500,000 to the Conservative party in December 2020. It brought his total contributions to the party to £2.3m since 2017.

The Independent reported that in 2020 Wren Kitchens received £15.5m via the UK Government's job retention scheme, according to its latest accounts.

While many businesses relied upon the scheme to survive, Wren, which deals in fitted kitchens, saw its pre-tax profits for the 12 months to December 2020 hit £75.3m, an increase on the previous year when £65.1m was recorded.

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According to further analysis of HMRC data by the paper, Wren then claimed a further £3m from the furlough scheme in 2021.

The scheme was set up in March 2020 and paid 80% of employee wages up to a limit of £2500 per person. The furlough scheme ended in September of this year.

The firm's accounts also reportedly show that directors were paid a total of £1.5m in 2020 with the highest recipient receiving more than £186k.

Along with his brother Eddie, who died in August, Healey's net worth was listed as £2.2 billion in the most recent Sunday Times Rich List, an increase of £200m on the previous year.

Wren was criticised by the Unite union in March last year after it laid off hundreds of showroom staff who had been "under-performing" with the firm stating that it had "anticipated that there would be a reduction in economic activity due to the coronavirus".

On the furlough revelations, Unite regional officer Mike Wilkinson said: "The gall of Wren Kitchens is totally unsurprising. The rot set in with Wren when they rushed to get rid of showroom staff at the first whiff of lockdown.”

He added: “It should come as no surprise that Wren, under the guidance of the owner Malcolm Healey, would seize the opportunity to use taxpayers’ money to subsidise his already huge fortune.”

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Neither Wren Kitchens nor the Conservative Party responded to The Independent's requests for comment.

A Treasury spokesman said: “Furlough provided a lifeline to more than a million businesses across the UK and protected nearly 12 million jobs – with businesses passing all the money they received from the scheme on to employees.

“We won’t apologise for doing everything we could during this unprecedented economic shock to support eligible businesses; as a result of our action the economy is growing, more employees are on payrolls than ever before and unemployment has fallen for nine months in a row.”