The Hamilton Affair: The victor - Outsider revels in triumph over British Establishment

V APPEARED TO be for vaudeville, as Mohamed Al Fayed's appearance in the witness box descended into farce. In the end it was for victory as the Harrods owner scored a famous triumph over the Establishment.

For it was the British Establishment that he will feel he defeated, as well as the totally dejected figure of the former Tory corporate affairs minister, Neil Hamilton.

Despite Mr Justice Morland's view that he was a man whose "appreciation of what is fact and what is fiction and what is truth and what is fantasy is warped", Mr Fayed won. And winning was everything.

An elated Mr Fayed now wants to use the High Court victory to drive his campaign for a British passport. He will not rest content until a Home Secretary comes along who is prepared to give him the one thing he yearns for more than anything else. Despite his breathless business acumen, his ability to mix with the right people, his wealth and his generosity, the prize of a UK passport has eluded him.

Indeed, as some of his evidence during the trial disclosed, Mr Fayed appears to harbour an indelible grudge against Britain or, more precisely, its Establishment, believing that it has turned against him even though he has poured millions into the economy. The death of his son, Dodi, with Diana, Princess of Wales in a car crash in Paris in 1997 did nothing to temper that feeling. If anything, it fuelled it.

After a hearing in Paris, Mr Fayed emerged from the building and publicly accused Frances Shand-Kydd, Diana's mother, of snobbery.

During the libel trial, he challenged the Duke of Edinburgh from the witness box to sue him over allegations that he masterminded a plot to murder Diana and Dodi.

Mr Fayed also accused Baroness Thatcher of throwing him "to the dogs" by ordering an inquiry into his takeover of Harrods as part of a conspiracy to "cover up" her son Mark's arms dealings.

The Egyptian enjoys massive wealth and many residences, including a fabulous country estate near Oxted, Surrey, to which he can travel in his Harrods- livery helicopter, as well as a penthouse in Park Lane. It is all a far cry from that humble Alexandria tenement block where he was raised before making his money in the construction industry and through brokerage.

He claims to have given pounds 250,000 to Conservative Party funds and was a guest at Downing Street when Lady Thatcher was in office. During the 1985 sterling crisis, he approached the Sultan of Brunei and persuaded him to keep his money in Britain at a time when others were looking elsewhere.

But despite all this, a British passport has still eluded him.

The people considering his application were those, he alleged, who had vilified him in the Commons years before, during his takeover of the House of Fraser group. Some believe this was the final straw that compelled him to go public about allegations of political impropriety.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn