Harry ‘expressed concerns’ over Saudi donor in cash for honours claims

The Duke of Sussex said he cut ties with Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz who was reported to be seeking recognition and residency in the UK.

Ted Hennessey
Sunday 05 December 2021 15:55
A spokesperson said Harry expressed his concerns over the donor (Yui Mok/PA)
A spokesperson said Harry expressed his concerns over the donor (Yui Mok/PA)

The Duke of Sussex has denied involvement in cash for honours claims and said he “severed ties” with a Saudi billionaire donor to the Prince of Wales’ charity six years ago.

In 2015, Harry “expressed his concerns” about Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, who it is claimed was promised a knighthood and residency in the UK while donating to the Prince Foundation, a spokesperson has said.

Michael Fawcett, who resigned as the foundation’s chief executive after a string of allegations, co-ordinated with “fixers” over honours nominations for Dr Bin Mahfouz, a probe found.

He was also involved in directing money from the donor’s foundation to another charity, of which Charles was previously patron.

Michael Fawcett resigned as the Prince Foundation’s chief executive after a string of allegations (Sean Dempsey/PA)

The Sunday Times reported that Harry agreed to see Dr Bin Mahfouz in 2013 after he gave £50,000 to his charity and hinted he would give millions more.

The newspaper claimed the pair met at a pub in Chelsea, west London where they discussed the duke’s charity Sentebale, before seeing him again at Clarence House.

It reported that this opened the door for access to Charles, a claim which Harry has since denied.

A spokesperson for Harry said: “It is disappointing that the Sunday Times, knowing all the facts, has chosen to encourage speculation by being deliberately vague to try to create a falsified link between the Duke of Sussex and the CBE scandal, of which he had no knowledge or involvement.

“The duke and his advisers, as well as his non-profit Sentebale, severed ties with Mr Mahfouz and his associates in 2015, no longer accepting further donations to Sentebale and discontinuing any plans for a fundraising event amid growing concerns over the motives for his support.

“The duke had one planned meeting with this donor nearly eight years ago, did not introduce him to any members of the royal family, and expressed his concerns about the donor.”

Mr Fawcett resigned in November amid claims he promised to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for Dr Bin Mahfouz.

Clarence House has previously said Charles had “no knowledge” of the cash for honours scandal.

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