Sunak faces criticism as major Tory donor knighted

2 weeks ago 25

Mohamed MansourImage source, Getty Images

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.

Labour has accused the prime minister of showing "blatant disrespect for the office he should feel privileged to hold".

Mr Mansour 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.

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

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 criticised the decision to award him an honour.

Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said: "This is either the arrogant act of an entitled man who's stopped caring what the public thinks, or the demob-happy self-indulgence of someone who doesn't expect to be prime minister much longer.

"Either way, it shows a blatant disrespect for the office he should feel privileged to hold."

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.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Tracey Crouch was sports minister from 2015 to 2018

Sir Mark, who is the MP for Sherwood, has been a minister since 2022.

Sir Philip, who has been an MP since 2005, has served on numerous parliamentary committees.

His wife, Esther McVey, was appointed to the cabinet last year, in a role dubbed "minister for common sense".

Sir Philip said he was "somewhat flabbergasted" by the news of his honour, adding "it feels very surreal".

Dame Tracey, who represents Chatham and Aylesford, is a former sports minister - who led a review of football governance in the wake of proposals for a breakaway European Super League.

She is among 63 Tory MPs who have said they will stand down at the next election, after she recovered from breast cancer.

West Worcestershire MP Dame Harriet is a former Foreign Office minister and currently chairs the Commons Treasury Committee.

Meanwhile Democratic Unionist Party MP Gregory Campbell has also been made a CBE.

The MP for East Londonderry is the DUP's spokesman for international development.

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