• Friday, August 12, 2022

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Tory donor Mohamed Amersi reveals why he is not suing Sir Nicholas Soames for libel

Amersi has also accused Charlotte Leslie, former MP for Bristol North West of defaming him.

Mohamed Amersi

By: Pramod Thomas

A Tory donor has revealed that he is not taking legal action against former MP for mid-Sussex, Sir Nicholas Soames, grandson of former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, because of his ‘close proximity to the Prince of Wales’, according to media reports.

Mohamed Amersi said that a former Parliamentary colleague Sir Hugo Swire had “discouraged” him from suing Sir Nicholas during a pre-trial hearing at the High Court in London on Monday (27). He added that he supported Prince Charles’ ‘many charitable initiatives’.

Meanwhile, Amersi has accused Charlotte Leslie, former MP for Bristol North West, of publishing a “series of documents” to a number of “influential individuals” and defaming him.

One of Amersi’s lawyers told Justice Nicklin, in a written witness statement, that Leslie had published documents between December 2020 and mid-January 2021.

The documents made ‘serious’ and ‘false’ allegations about Amersi’s ‘business and personal life’, the lawyer said. Lawyers representing Leslie indicated she was disputing claims made against her.

Amersi told the judge he already knew that Sir Nicholas had sent a “document or documents” to Conservative Party co-chair Ben Elliot.

According to him, Sir Nicholas had been “misled” by Leslie and was not the “individual” who should be “held responsible” for the publications.

He also said Bahrain ambassador Sheikh Fawaz had suggested that “his king” would be “very upset” if Sir Nicholas was sued. Amersi has also sued the Conservative Middle East Council – of which Miss Leslie is the director.

The judge heard that Amersi was the founder of Conservative Friends of the Middle East and North Africa (COMENA).

“It was my belief (and remains my belief) that Sir Nicholas was (mis)led by (Miss Leslie) and thus, although he should have conducted his own independent fact-checking, he is not the individual who should be held responsible for the publications complained of,” he said.

“I understand from my solicitors, following their research, that Sir Nicholas and the King of Bahrain in fact both attended the Mons Officer Cadet School which closed in 1972, with its responsibilities then transferring over to the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst.”

The judge heard that Leslie had allegedly given information to former MP Sir David Lidington, MP Julian Lewis, MP Crispin Blunt, former MP Sir Alan Duncan and Sheikh Fawaz.

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