Tories would not treat me like this if I was white: Major donor involved in cash-for-access row claims he was treated badly because of his background… but insists he still loves the party
- Mohamed Amersi said Tories would have treated him better if he went to Eton
- Businessman and wife given £793,000 to party and senior MPs in recent years
- He’s become embroiled in a dispute even threatening legal action over memos
A major Tory donor involved in a cash-for-access row claimed last night he would have been treated better by the party if he had been white.
Mohamed Amersi said the Conservatives would have treated him better if he had a traditional English name and had been to Eton and Oxford.
The Kenya-born businessman and his Russian partner Nadezhda Rodicheva have between them given £793,000 to the party and senior MPs in recent years.
Mohamed Amersi (left) said the Conservatives would have treated him better if he had a traditional English name and had been to Eton and Oxford. (Pictured right, former Prime Minister Theresa May)
He has also set up a new foreign affairs network called the Conservative Friends of the Middle East and North Africa (Comena), which he hoped would become an affiliate group of the party.
But he has become embroiled in a dispute with ex-MPs who run the Conservative Middle East Council, even threatening legal action over memos written about his background that claimed he had business ties to Russia.
And at the weekend he made the explosive allegation that party chairman Ben Elliot, whose aunt is the Duchess of Cornwall, had sold him access to Prince Charles.
Mr Amersi revealed that he had been an elite client of Mr Elliot’s lifestyle management firm Quintessentially, and as a result had enjoyed a private dinner with the heir to the throne – later becoming a trustee of one of his charities.
He also told how the Conservatives operate a secretive club called the Advisory Board for top donors and that ‘one needs to cough up £250,000 per annum or be a friend of Ben’ to gain admission.
Last night Mr Amersi told the Daily Mail he believed he had been treated badly by the Tories because of his background.
‘I sometimes wonder if I was white and my surname was John Smith and I had been to Eton and Oxford I might have been treated differently. And I think there is some truth in that,’ he said.
However he insisted that he loves the party and will continue to donate to it.
He also apologised to Prince Charles. ‘My intention was never to embarrass the Royal Family and particularly the Prince of Wales,’ he said.
‘I have the greatest respect for him and have witnessed his work first-hand round the world.’
There are now calls for the Tories to stop taking money from him. One senior figure said: ‘Donor money is being used to buy a position of influence.’
A party spokesman said: ‘The Conservative Party is the party of aspiration and opportunity for all, no matter your gender, your ethnicity or where you come from.’
Last night Mr Amersi told the Daily Mail he believed he had been treated badly by the Tories because of his background. (Pictured, current Tory leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson)
The party board is expected to consider Comena’s application for affiliation next month.
Labour chairman Anneliese Dodds said: ‘Ministers … must be beyond reproach, but instead it seems like a six-figure sum can buy you access to their offices.’
However Tory co-chairman Amanda Milling pointed out that Labour had taken £1.2million from the Unite union in the past year and is seeking cash from billionaires.
She wrote to Miss Dodds: ‘The Labour Party runs its own Chair Circle Membership group and the Rose Network whose members can pay a fee to get access to Sir Keir Starmer, yourself, and other senior Shadow Cabinet members.’