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Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

King’s former aide received £60,000 payoff when he quit Prince’s Foundation

King’s former aide received £60,000 payoff when he quit Prince’s Foundation

Michael Fawcett resigned after revelations he offered to help Saudi donor obtain knighthood and British citizenship
A former aide to the King received a £60,000 payoff when he stepped down from the Prince’s Foundation amid a cash-for-honours scandal, it has emerged.

Michael Fawcett received the money after revelations that he offered to help a Saudi donor obtain a knighthood and British citizenship.

A police inquiry into the sale of honours under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 continues. Officers questioned two men under caution on 6 September, two days before the Queen died.

A statement from the Metropolitan police said the inquiry had progressed and that evidence had been handed to the Crown Prosecution Service on 31 October. No arrests have been made.

Accounts show that Fawcett, as “head of the provider”, was paid £59,582, including £21,923 holiday pay plus £877 in pension contributions.

The foundation also provided an additional £1,200 for “independent legal advice”.

Fawcett, Chris Martin, a senior fundraising executive, and Douglas Connell, the chair, stepped down from the charity based at Dumfries House, Ayrshire.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is also investigating claims that a donation of hundreds of thousands of pounds appeared to go missing after being handed to middle men working with the charity.

The latest accounts confirm the King will remain president of the foundation despite ascending the throne.

They state: “During the financial year the foundation was subject of a number of press reports into fundraising practices at The Prince’s Foundation in relation to certain donations historically received by the charity. These reports included “cash for honours” questions, whereby certain donations were purportedly secured in return for access to the foundation’s president, and support from the foundation or related entities for donor nominations in relation to the UK honours system.

“Following these press reports the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator opened an investigation into the foundation and its governance.

‘‘Trustees are also aware that the Metropolitan Police are conducting an investigation into allegations of offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

“The risks highlighted and considered include the potential for legal, regulatory, employee and reputational risks. The trustees accept the reputational risk arising from these events as probable.”

The Mail on Sunday published a letter last year from 2017 in which Fawcett reportedly wrote that he was willing to make an application to change businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a KBE and support his application for citizenship.

The letter, written on headed notepaper in Fawcett’s then-capacity as chief executive of the Dumfries House Trust, said the applications would be made in response to “the most recent and anticipated support” of the trust. Mahfouz has denied any wrongdoing.

The following year, Dumfries House became part of The Prince’s Foundation, created through a merger of several of Charles’s charities, and Fawcett was appointed the chief executive.

Clarence House said in September 2021 that Charles had “no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities” and insisted he was fully supportive of an investigation by The Prince’s Foundation.

The foundation told the Mail on Sunday: “We do not discuss individual staff salaries or payments.”
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