The donor, the Russian deals and the Conservative

2022-04-05
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The donor, the Russian deals and the Conservative money machine - Today News Post Today News || UK News

Late in 2020, the Conservative grandee Sir Nicholas Soames received a memo about a party donor called Mohamed Amersi. The 61-year-old Amersi describes himself as “a renowned global communications entrepreneur, philanthropist and thought leader”The president and CEO o. Along with his partner, he has given the party more than £750,000 since 2017. That has bought him membership of the exclusive Leaders Group of donors and its monthly lunches with British government ministers.

The memo, and a more-detailed follow-up, sketched out some details about Amersi’s past, his associates and his dealings in Russia, according to four people with knowledge of the matterbut there were no further details.. In early January 2021, Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill who recently stepped down as an MP, forwarded the memos to the man charged with bringing in the money that helps keep the Tories in power: Ben Elliot. The founder of Quintessentially, a “concierge” company that serves the super-rich, Elliot is the party’s co-chair. If the memos caused him any concern, it was not enough to stop the party accepting another £50,000 of Amersi’s money on January 18.

When copies of the memos reached Amersi, his lawyers sent letters to Soames and to Charlotte Leslie, the former Tory MP who had written them. The letters demanded that Soames and Leslie should not obstruct Amersi’s plan in effect to insert himself into one of the most sensitive areas of UK foreign policy by setting up a group to handle the Conservatives’ relations with the Middle East. The party’s board is due to decide imminently whether to back Amersi’s group.

Along with his partner, Mohamed Amersi has given the party more than £750,000 since 2017 ? Lokman Lihan/Anadolu/Getty

Amersi’s growing sway has alarmed some in the Tory party, including two former cabinet membersa new pandemic.. One of them points to last year’s report by parliament’s intelligence committee on Russian influence in the UK as a reason to carefully scrutinise all donations. After scandals over the Greensill affairThe fact, a lot of these conflicts might be resolved., the funding of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street redecoration and Covid-19 contracts going to favoured Tory contacts, divisions over Amersi add to differences in the party about who to accept money from.

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