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Labour Claims Tory Donor’s Knighthood Indicates Sunak Thinks His Time in Office Is Ending

Sir Rishi Sunak (Credits: ITVX)

The Labour Party has criticized Prime Minister Rishi Sunak‘s move to knight a businessman and former Egyptian government minister who contributed £5m to the Conservative Party, interpreting it as an act of a leader preparing for his exit.

Mohamed Mansour, a senior treasurer for the Conservative Party for a little over a year, was unexpectedly announced late Thursday among other honorees, which also included several Conservative MPs. The official reason for Mansour’s knighthood is his contributions to business, charity, and political service.

However, the Labour chair, Anneliese Dodds, suggests the honor is directly linked to his substantial financial contribution to the Conservative Party. She expressed concerns on Sky News that this gesture might reflect the Prime Minister’s disregard for public opinion or his anticipation of leaving his position soon.

Mr. Sunak (Credits: Bloomberg)

Dodds emphasized that the Labour Party insists honors should recognize significant contributions to public life rather than be a direct reward for political donations.

At the time of his donation, Mansour’s contribution was the biggest the Conservative Party had received, although it has since been surpassed.

Labour has called on Sunak to return Mansour’s donation, especially after revelations that one of Mansour’s family businesses continued operations in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, despite international condemnations and calls from UK leaders for businesses to withdraw.

Mansour’s firm announced it was ceasing its Russian operations more than a year after the conflict began. Alongside Mansour, the honors list included figures from various sectors, including Demis Hassabis of DeepMind, filmmakers Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, and Ted Sarandos of Netflix.

Tory Donor’s Knighthood (Credits: Bristol Live)

Political figures such as Philip Davies and Mark Spencer were also knighted, and Tracey Crouch and Harriett Baldwin received damehoods. This unexpected honors announcement ahead of the Easter recess fuels speculation about Sunak considering a summer election.

A Downing Street source indicated that the timing was related to the need to update the list of Privy Council MPs, which presents an opportunity to acknowledge achievements in entertainment, artificial intelligence, and charitable work.

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