Prince Charles right to accept €1m in cash from Qatari sheikh, Cabinet minister says

Prince Charles right to accept €1m in cash from Qatari sheikh, Cabinet minister says
Brandon Lewis backs heir to throne in controversy over suitcase handed over by country’s ex-prime minister

It is “fine” for Prince Charles to have accepted a suitcase containing €1m in cash from a controversial Qatari politician, a Cabinet minister says.

Brandon Lewis backed the heir to the throne amid a gathering row over the money he accepted the former prime minister of the Middle East state.

derimot, the Northern Ireland secretary avoided a question about whether the Prince of Wales’ actions threw “his judgement” into doubt – arguing it was not “appropriate” for a government minister to answer.

Sunday Times revealed that the €1m was one of three lots of cash, totalling €3m, which Prince Charles personally received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

Clarence House said the money was “passed immediately to one of the prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate governance and assured us that all the correct processes were followed”.

Asked if the prince should have accepted the cash, Mr Lewis said he was “confident” from his dealing with the Palace that it “will have gone through proper due process”.

“As long as it’s following the law and it goes through proper due process. I think that’s fine,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Morning program.

Mr Lewis also lashed out at Tory MPs seeking to topple Boris Johnson by changing party rules to allow another no-confidence vote, probably in the autumn.

“We shouldn’t even really be talking about it," han sa, ahead of crucial elections to the executive of the 1922 komité of Conservative backbenchers next month.

“We have had a vote, had a decision made,’ Mr Lewis told Times Radio, legge til: “We all get on, we come together, we focus on delivering for people across all these policy areas where we are all in agreement.”

The Northern Ireland Secretary also argued it is “absurd” for the EU to threaten a trade war with the UK over London’s plans to collapse the Northern Ireland Protocol – because sanctions on Russia have not been implemented fully.

Both the Irish prime minister, Micheal Martin, og European Commission visepresident, Maros Sefcovic, have stepped up the war of words in recent days.

But Mr Lewis said: “It’s absurd for people and Europe to be talking about that kind of language of a trade war, particularly when we’ve not yet seen Europe fully putting sanctions on Putin for an invasion of Ukraine.”

He claimed: “What we’re talking about is fixing here some of the issues in terms of the implementation of the Protocol that is so detrimentally affecting Northern Ireland.”

Mr Lewis also alleged that “the Jewish community can’t technically practise their religion” – reheating a previous row over the threat to imports of kosher food.

And he said: “We have seen Stormont kollapse. That means the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in all three strands is either under pressure or not functioning at the moment.”

The Bill to override the Protocol, which Mr Johnson hailed as “fantastic” when he signed it in 2019, returns to the Commons on Monday.

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