Charles’s ‘cash for honours’ aide got £60,000 pay-off when forced to step down




dmg media (UK)


THE KING’S former aide Michael Fawcett got a £60,000 pay-off when he was forced to step down from The Prince’s Foundation over a cash for honours scandal, the charity’s latest accounts reveal. It means that in his last five months in office, Mr Fawcett, 60, received £190,000 from the charity, including his six-figure salary. He stepped down as chief executive in September last year after The Mail on Sunday revealed he offered to help a wealthy Saudi donor obtain a knighthood and British citizenship. He resigned two months later. The revelations sparked a police inquiry, which is ongoing. Two men were questioned under caution by police on September 6, two days before the Queen died. Last night, the Met Police said the ‘cash for honours’ probe had progressed, with evidence handed to the Crown Prosecution Service on October 31. Now accounts show Mr Fawcett, as ‘head of the provider’, was paid £59,582, including £21,923 holiday pay plus £877 of pension contributions. An additional £1,200 for ‘independent legal advice’ was provided by the foundation. Mr Fawcett, Chris Martin, a senior fundraising executive, and chairman Douglas Connell stepped down from the charity based at Dumfries House, Ayrshire. As well as the police probe, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is 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 Prince’s Foundation despite ascending the throne. They also allude to the claims, revealed in The Mail on Sunday, which rocked the charity. The accounts 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 accounts add: ‘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 foundation received £14million in the past year, 20 per cent down on the previous year. It has acquired A G Carrick, the profit-making arm of Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. Highgrove remains the property of the Duchy of Cornwall, now run by William, Prince of Wales. So the King pays rent to his son for his continued use of the home. The Prince’s Foundation said: ‘We do not discuss individual staff salaries or payments.’