Rishi Sunak faces criticism after Tory donor given knighthood

Rishi Sunak is facing criticism after a major Conservative Party donor was given a knighthood. Businessman Mohamed Mansour, a senior treasurer for the party, has been honoured for his business, charity and political service. Last year he gave £5m, at the time the party’s biggest donation since 2001.

Criticising the prime minister for rewarding a benefactor, Labour said donors should not get “an automatic pass through” the honours system.

Sir Mohamed was given a knighthood alongside Farming Minister Mark Spencer and Shipley’s Conservative MP Philip Davies, as well as damehoods for former ministers Tracey Crouch and Harriett Baldwin.Mr Sunak recommended the honours to the King, but questions have also been raised about the unconventional timing of the announcement as Parliament begins its Easter recess.

Typically lists of people who have received honours are published at New Year and on the King’s official birthday in June.

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The announcement included honours for film director Christopher Nolan and his wife, film producer Emma Thomas, as well as the founder of artificial intelligence company DeepMind, Demis Hassabis. The Egyptian-born business tycoon, who has British citizenship, is the chairman of the Mansour Group and founded the London-based investment firm Man Capital.Sir Mohamed was once a politician in Egypt, where he served as a transport minister from 2006 to 2009 under Hosni Mubarak, the late Egyptian president who stood down in 2011 during the Arab Spring.

He has been honoured for his services to business, charity and political service. Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said honours should reward people who have made a “contribution to our public life”.

She did not rule out Labour donors being granted honours if the party wins the next general election in an interview with Sky News.

“It shouldn’t be an automatic pass through from somebody who’s made a huge donation to a political party then being rewarded in that manner,” Ms Dodds added.Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Sunak has once again shown just how out of touch he is by handing out gongs to donors bankrolling his party who have plunged the economy into a recession.”

Reform UK leader Richard Tice accused the Tories of “toxic” cronyism. [The] whole thing stinks like rotting fish,” he wrote on X.

A Number 10 source pointed to Sir Mohamed’s “extensive public and charity service”, including his support for the Prince’s Foundation, now the King’s Foundation.

Source: BBC

In other news – King Charles makes powerful statement amid abdication rumours

Britain’s King Charles has issued a powerful statement as the monarch echoed the pledge to serve the nation that he made at his coronation last year.

King Charles

King Charles, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, was unable to attend the 2024 Royal Maundy Service, so a recording of the message was played to the congregation at Worcester Cathedral. Read more

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