United Kingdom

Concierge company run by Conservative chairman 'profited from giving access to Prince Charles'

The chairman of the Conservative party, who is also the nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall, profited from giving his concierge company's wealthy clients access to Prince Charles, it has been alleged.

Ben Elliot, 45, introduced super-rich clients from his company Quintessentially to the Prince of Wales after they paid his company tens of thousands of pounds in what has been branded 'access capitalism'.

Telecoms millionaire Mohamed Amersi, 61, paid £15,000 a year to be an elite member of the luxury concierge business for several years before they organised for him to meet Prince Charles over an intimate dinner in Dumfries House.

After the introduction facilitated by Elliot, Amersi became a trustee of one of the prince's charities and has since donated more than £1.2million.

Leaked emails seen by The Sunday Times show Elliot responded to the news of Amersi's first donation by saying: 'Well done'.

Ben Elliot (right), 45, introduced super-rich clients from his company Quintessentially to the Prince of Wales (left)

The revelations were made by Amersi himself who is already involved in a row with former Tory MPs Sir Nicholas Soames and Charlotte Leslie over the party's Middle East outreach group.

He admitted he would never have had the chance to meet Prince Charles without paying for the access.

His claims are supported by documents and another whistleblower, raising questions about Elliot's conduct while being so close to the Royal Family.

Amersi said: 'Unless you have somebody like him who opens these doors for you, it's not possible, it's not so easy.'

He added: 'I call it access capitalism... You get access, you get invitations, you get privileged relationships if you are part of the set-up, and where you are financially making a contribution to be a part of that set up. Absolutely.'

The top businessman also spoke to the MailOnline, saying: 'Mr Elliot was instrumental in helping us reach various levels of the establishment including galleries, government and royals

Telecoms millionaire Mohamed Amersi, 61, paid £15,000 a year to be an elite member of the luxury concierge business

'Quintessentially was able to introduce us to the establishment after we arrived from New York and I am very grateful to him.

'Prince Charles is one of the greatest philanthropists in the world and he invited me to be an advisor on many of his charities.

'I benefited a lot because it informed the way we run our foundation.

'They benefited as well because it is a collaborative, it's the exchanging of ideas. I am now involved with four of his charities.'

Mr Amersi, the founder of asset management firm Emergent Telecom Ventures, is now involved with several projects launched by Prince Charles including the Prince's Trust, the International Advisory Council for the British Asian Trust, the Prince's Trust Mosaic network and Dumfries House.

Other documents seen by The Times show Elliot used his royal connections to help his political fundraising.  

Elliot appealed for donations for friend and Tory minister Zac Goldsmith (pictured) using his royal conections

In one 2015 email, sent four years before he became Tory chairman, Elliot tells Amersi that Charles 'spoke highly of you' before requesting a donation for his close friend and Conservative minister Zac Goldsmith.

The businessman was sent a chauffeur and a private jet for his dinner at Dumfries House in 2013 and a timetable for an intimate guided tour and dinner with the future king. 

A whistleblower supported Amersi's allegations, saying royal ties are 'explicitly used as both a sales and a retention tool' at Quintessentially.

They said the company sells itself on its connections and boasts to prospective clients how others were taken to Dumfries House for dinner with the Prince.

Charles has attended a number of Quintessentially Foundation events, the charitable arm of the company, which hosts major philanthropic events, including one at Clarence House, his official residence.  

A friend of Elliot told The Times the Tory chairman does not 'sell access' to the Royal Family and said there is no conflict of interest.

A spokesman for Elliot said: 'Mr Elliot assisted Mr Amersi in meeting the Prince of Wales because he wanted to support the prince's charitable work, and Mr Elliot is proud that led to large donations from Mr Amersi to good causes. This was entirely about helping to raise money for charity.'

They added that the Quintessentially Foundation supports many fundraisers, some of which have royal patrons.

Representatives for Prince Charles refused to comment. 

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