British PM accused of ‘cronyism’ for knighting party donorUK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has faced criticism for his decision to confer a knighthood on Conservative Party donor Mohamed Mansour Read Full Article at RT.com

Rishi Sunak has announced a surprise round of honors, including Egyptian-born billionaire Mohamed Mansour

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing a backlash and accusations of cronyism for his decision to confer a knighthood on one of the Conservative Party’s biggest donors, who has contributed millions of pounds.

Sunak announced his ‘Easter Honours List’ on Thursday, a step many viewed as unusual as it was made outside of the traditional honors rounds, which are granted at New Year’s or the King’s Birthday.  

The list, which included a number of Conservative MPs, several figures involved in working on artificial intelligence and Oscar-winning film director Christopher Nolan, also featured Egyptian-born billionaire Mohamed Mansour. 

Mansour, who has served as senior treasurer of the Conservative Party since 2022, is a vocal supporter of the prime minister. Last year, he gave £5 million ($6.3 million) to the Conservatives which was the single largest donation they had received in over two decades. Mansour’s knighthood was awarded for “business, charity and political service.”

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However, the billionaire’s newly-minted title has raised eyebrows among UK political figures, with some accusing Sunak of blatant “cronyism.”

“The nation is sick of the Tories and their obscene cronyism. Bung them a few million quid and a peerage or knighthood is yours. The whole thing stinks like a rotting fish, from the head,” Reform UK leader Richard Tice told The Telegraph. 

Labour Party chairman Anneliese Dodds voiced a similar opinion, telling Sky News it showed “a blatant disrespect for the office [that Sunak] should feel privileged to hold,” adding that giving money should not be an “automatic pass” to knighthood.

Conservative peer Lord Robert Haywood also warned that the public would be “unhappy” with Sunak’s move. “The problem is that you’ve got people who are genuine philanthropists who also give money to a political party, and that’s where the line isn’t differentiated,” he said.

The Telegraph noted that the “highly unusual” decision to award honors before the Easter recess will likely fuel speculation that the prime minister may call a summer snap election, with the knighthoods seen as an attempt to boost support for his party. 

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