Mohamed Amersi has given more than half a million pounds to the Tories since 2018 – and has been named in the huge Pandora Papers leak of financial information about the world’s rich and powerful
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A major Tory donor who boasted the party was running an ‘access capitalism’ scheme has been linked to one of Europe’s biggest corruption scandals.
Mohamed Amersi has given more than half a million pounds to the Tories since 2018.
The revelation, which came in the so-called Pandora Papers leak, has sparked awkward questions for Boris Johnson as he hosts the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
The huge leak of documents, published last night, reveals the 61-year-old corporate lawyer advised on a series of deals for a Swedish telecoms company, according to the BBC.
The firm, Telia, later accepted the $220m (£162m) deal was a “corrupt payment” – a bribe for the daughter of the then-president of Uzbekistan.
Mr Amersi denies any wrongdoing.
In June Mr Amersi made headlines after claiming the Tories were running an ‘access capitalism’ scheme.
“You get access, you get invitations, you get privileged relationships, if you are part of the setup,” he said.
As a member of Boris Johnson’s ‘Leaders Group’, Mr Amersi frequently gets privileged access to senior ministers.
The cache of almost 12 million files, investigated by BBC Panorama and the Guardian, is said to cover the activities of some 35 current or former world leaders, more than 300 public officials and 100 billionaires.
Mr Amersi’s gifts to the Tories included more than £100,000 towards their general election campaign – and £10,000 towards Boris Johnson’s bid to become Tory leader.
Asked about the revelations this morning, Boris Johnson insisted the party vets donors ‘all the time.’
He said: “I see that story today, all I can say is that all these donations are vetted in the normal way, in accordance with rules that were actually set up under the Labour government, so we vet them all the time.”
And Chancellor Rishi Sunak also insisted Tory party carries out the required legal checks on donors.
He told BBC Breakfast: “My understanding is we carry out compliance checks in line with the referendums and political parties legislation that was put in place by the Labour government.
“Those are the checks that are required by law, those are the compliance checks that the party carries out.”
Ahead of Conservative Party conference this week the Sunday Mirror revealed a quarter of Ministers who attend Boris Johnson new cabinet have taken money from the same three Russia-linked donors.
And Mr Johnson was accused of running a ‘cash for access’ scheme, after it emerged the party was offering cosy dinners with cabinet ministers to wealthy donors for £4,000 a table.