Tory Chair's Firm Got 'Thousands of Pounds' for Introducing Rich Clients to Prince Charles: Report
A spokesperson for Ben Elliot argued that the 45-year-old did not raise money from his company's clients "in his role as Conservative Party chairman". The nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall has been at the helm of the party since July 2019.
UK Conservative Party chairman Ben Elliot capitalised on organising meetings between wealthy businessmen and Prince Charles - his uncle and the heir to the British throne, The Times has reported.
The developments purportedly took place before Elliot, who is the nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall, became Tory chairman in July 2019.
According to The Times, the 45-year-old introduced super-rich clients to the Prince of Wales after the businessmen "paid tens of thousands of pounds" to Elliot's concierge company Quintessentially.
The clients included telecoms millionaire Mohamed Amersi, 61, who told The Times that he paid £15,000 ($20,857) a year to become an elite member of the luxury concierge business.
© REUTERS / POOLBritain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, meet well-wishers as they visit Bangor open air market, in Bangor, Northern Ireland, Britain May 19, 2021
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, meet well-wishers as they visit Bangor open air market, in Bangor, Northern Ireland, Britain May 19, 2021
© REUTERS / POOL
He argued that in 2013, Quintessentially arranged a flight for him to meet Prince Charles over "an intimate dinner" at Dumfries House in Scotland. After the introduction, Amersi became a trustee of one of the prince's charities and has since donated more than £1.2 million ($1.6 million) to it.
The Times cited leaked emails as saying that Elliot reacted to the news of Amersi's first donation by saying: "Well done".
Amersi, for his part, said that without "somebody like [Elliot], it's not possible, it's not easy" to obtain access to such high-ranking figures as Prince Charles.
When asked whether Elliot was dealing with pay-to-play schemes, the businessman said: "You call it pay-to-play, I call it access capitalism".
"It's the same point. You get access, you get invitations, you get privileged relationships if you are part of the set-up, and where you are financially making a contribution to be a part of that set up. Absolutely", Amersi added.
4 July, 11:48 GMT
In a separate interview with the Daily Mail, the millionaire praised Elliot as being "instrumental in helping us [Amersi and his entourage] reach various levels of the establishment including galleries, government, and royals".
"Quintessentially was able to introduce us to the establishment after we arrived from New York and I am very grateful to him [Eliott]. Prince Charles is one of the greatest philanthropists in the world and he invited me to be an adviser on many of his charities. I benefited a lot because it informed the way we run our foundation. They benefited as well because it is a collaborative, it's the exchanging of ideas. I am now involved with four of his charities", Amersi told the Daily Mail.
A spokesperson for Ben Elliot has, meanwhile, asserted the 45-year-old is "proud of this work" and that "he has also worked to support many other charities and good causes across the UK". The spokesperson insisted that Amersi's introduction to the Prince of Wales "was entirely about helping to raise money for charity".