[Diggers350] Cash for honours, now top Tory donors bankrolling Prince Charles’ charity

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Thu Sep 9 22:08:32 BST 2021

The pressure group Republic has contacted 
Scotland Yard and reported both future king 
Charles and his former royal valet Michael 
Fawcett on suspicion of breaching the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

Concerns raised over top Tory donors bankrolling Prince Charles’ charity

Super-rich Conservative supporters accused of 
"buying access" as scale of Tory links to the Prince’s Foundation revealed
Thévoz 9 September 2021, 12.00am 

    * “It is alarming, deeply unfair, and very 
damaging to our democracy, that such access should be so readily for sale."
Prince Charles’ embattled charity has been 
bankrolled by major Tory donors, whose names are 
engraved across its headquarters in Scotland.

The Prince's Foundation's has been supported by a 
host of leading Conservative donors, including 
hedge fund manager Michael Hintze, finance and 
property tycoon Wafic Said, and David Brownlow, 
who funded the controversial renovation of Boris Johnson's Downing Street flat.

Transparency campaigners have raised concerns 
about the the super-rich buying access to the Royal family.

News of the ties between the Prince's charity and 
leading Tory donors comes after 
that a Saudi tycoon, Mahfouz bin Mahfouz, was 
given an honorary CBE after donating more than 
£1.5m to royal charities. A string of leaked 
emails were “explicit about the transactional nature of the agreement”.

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His money helped fund the multimillion pound 
restoration of Dumfries House, an 18th century 
stately home owned by the Prince’s Foundation, which is based there.

Parts of the estate are now named after wealthy 
donors. Mahfouz has a fountain, a wood, a garden 
and a building all named after him, following his 
donations, while others are commemorated on plaques.

Dumfries House does not declare all of its 
donors, with several listed as “anon”. But among 
those who have been named, there appears to be an 
overlap with some of the Conservative Party’s top donors.

Hedge fund manager 
Hintze was a “founding supporter” of the 
building’s restoration. He was knighted by Prince 
Charles in 2013, for services to the arts.

With an estimated fortune of £1.5bn, he is one of 
the UK’s richest people and has given at least 
£4.4m to the Conservatives since 2003. This 
includes donating money directly to Boris Johnson and Theresa May.

Another donor, 
Brownlow, is the founder of Huntswood business 
consultancy, and a major donor to Dumfries 
House’s parklands and gardens. He and his 
companies have also given £3.3m to the Tories since 2005.

Brownlow has faced questions over 
undeclared donation to the Conservative Party 
last year, to help pay for the 
of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat. The 
Electoral Commission is still investigating the 
affair, after saying there were “reasonable 
grounds” to suspect an offence may have occurred. 
He was appointed to the House of Lords in 2019, 
becoming Baron Brownlow of Shurlock Row.

Finance and property tycoon Wafic Said is 
currently listed as the 89th richest person in 
the UK, with a fortune of £1.9bn. Like Hintze, he 
was a founding supporter of the Dumfries House 
restoration. His wife, Rosemary Said, has donated 
over £2.5m to the Conservatives since 2005.

Hintze, Brownlow and Ann Said have all been 
members of 
elite £50,000-a-year Leader's Group of top Tory 
donors. The Conservative Party 
longer releases information about the Leader’s 
Group membership, making it impossible to tell if 
they are still members. However, they still 
continue to donate more than enough to qualify 
for the £50k annual membership fee.

Sue Hawley, executive director of Spotlight on 
Corruption, said on the Mahfouz donation: "It is 
increasingly clear that wealthy businessmen, 
including from highly corrupt jurisdictions, see 
making donations to the governing party and the 
royal family as a way to gain influence and access.

“It is alarming, deeply unfair, and very damaging 
to our democracy, that such access should be so readily for sale."

Related story

openDemocracy’s Big Tory donor quiz
09-09-2021 | Stewart Kirkpatrick
How much do you know about where the Conservative Party gets its money from?

'Access' to Prince Charles

The Prince’s Foundation is 
an investigation over allegations that middlemen 
were charging £100,000 for dinners with Prince 
Charles. Reports said that fixers were taking a 
25% cut for themselves, and offering an overnight 
stay at Dumfries House as part of the package.

The Sunday Times has also reported that a 
concierge company owned by the Conservative 
Party’s co-chairman, Ben Elliot, 
access to Prince Charles”, offering dinners with 
the Prince as part of its £15,000-a-year service. 
Elliot is the nephew of Prince Charles’ wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

One donor, Mohamed Amersi, was 
encouraged to give £1.2m to Charles’ charities 
after being introduced by Elliot. It followed his 
having made more than £500,000 of donations to the Conservative Party.

Duncan Hames, director of policy at Transparency 
International UK said: “We welcome the 
investigation of matters at The Prince’s 
Foundation, where it is alleged that wealthy 
donors could buy access to the Prince of Wales. 
Once concluded, the findings of this inquiry 
should be published in full to help assure the 
public that those who are awarded honours receive 
them solely on merit, not as a result of the depth of their pockets.”

Clarence House 
said that Prince Charles had “no knowledge” of any access-peddling.

Sir Michael Hintze, Lord Brownlow, and Wafic Said 
did not respond to a request to comment, while 
The Prince’s Foundation also declined to comment.
And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, 
he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and 
gave to them. 
<http://biblehub.com/luke/24-31.htm>31 And their 
eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he 
vanished out of their 
sight.  http://biblehub.com/kjv/luke/24.htm 
'Capitalism is institutionalised bribery' TG
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