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Thursday, Jun 01, 2023

Egypt-born billionaire makes £5m donation to UK Conservative Party

Egypt-born billionaire makes £5m donation to UK Conservative Party

An Egyptian billionaire has given the UK Conservative Party its largest donation in 20 years.
Mohamed Mansour told The Telegraph he believes Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is “very capable” and “understands how growth is generated in the modern economy.”

Mansour donated £5 million ($6.2 million) to the party — the joint-second largest individual donation in UK political history after Lord Sainsbury of Turville gave £8 million to the Liberal Democrats in 2019 — arresting a decline in funding that had seen it overtaken by the opposition Labour Party in its ability to generate cash.

Between July and September, the Conservatives raked in just £3 million, compared to Labour’s £5.4 million, led in part by the defections of major donors such as millionaire Gareth Quarry after the departure of Boris Johnson as prime minister. Quarry accused the Tories of being “riven with arrogance and complacency.”

Mansour, though, said Sunak “gets the importance of technology and innovation. He can make a modern economy work for all citizens.”

Mansour said he valued stability in government, having lived through the upheaval of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rise to power.

Mansour wrote in The Telegraph: “When I was a teenager, my family’s assets were confiscated by the state. Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, under the influence of his Soviet mentors, nationalized the cotton industry, taking my father’s business from him.

“But he did not stop there. Nasser was convinced that private property rights should not stand in the way of his socialist creed and took my family’s land, homes and other assets.

“My life changed overnight. I was already at university in the United States, but from this moment on, my family could not support me. I had to trade in my car, knuckle down and work as a waiter to pay my way through college. I came to know what it is like to go hungry and to struggle to pay for food and utilities.

“This experience left me with a lifelong belief in the importance of political stability, property rights and the rule of law.”

He called the UK “a place where the rule of law is paramount, property rights are respected, and with an enviable record of political stability.”

He wrote: “I want to give (Sunak) the best chance of having a full five-year term, and so have donated £5 million to the party’s election fighting fund. I look at what he has achieved in his first months in office and think what he could do in five years.

“I love and respect this country, which has welcomed my family and me so warmly. It has a proud history and noble traditions. I believe that it has great days ahead of it. I want to do what I can to help this country — the place where I am watching my grandchildren grow up — achieve its great potential.”

The Conservative Party currently lags around 17 percent behind Labour across UK opinion polls, with the next general election expected some time in late 2024.

Mansour has previously given donations amounting to £600,000 to the party, and sits on the government’s advisory investment council.

He is the chair of the $6 billion conglomerate the Mansour Group, and is personally valued at being worth around $2.9 billion.

In the past he served as Egypt’s transport minister from 2006 to 2009 under Hosni Mubarak, the late Egyptian president forced from office in 2011.
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