Inquiry launched into another charity linked to Prince of Wales ‘cash for honours’ scandal

10 Mar 2022 News

The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into a charity with links to The Mahfouz Foundation, a charity embroiled in the cash-for-honours controversy. 

The Burke’s Peerage Foundation was established to advance education in the subject of genealogy and personal heritage. 

Since last month, the Commission has been in touch with its trustees after identifying links with The Mahfouz Foundation.

The Commission opened a statutory inquiry into The Mahfouz Foundation in November 2021 after allegations that donations intended for The Prince’s Foundation were redirected to the charity. 

The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) opened an investigation into The Prince’s Foundation last September. The charity is also being investigated by the police. Children and the Arts, where the Prince of Wales is a patron, referred itself to the Charity Commission last year due to its links to the prince. 

All four charities have now been linked to allegations regarding the use of donations to influence the heir to the throne. 

The inquiry

The Commission opened an inquiry after reviewing Burke's Peerage Foundation's bank statements against its accounts. 

This inquiry will examine the extent to which trustees are complying with their legal duties in administration, governance and management of the charity, as well as the charity’s compliance in regards to filing its accounts. 

In each of the last five years, the charity has reported an income and expenditure of exactly £10,000. Charities with an income this low do not have to file their full annual accounts with the Commission. 

Burke’s Peerage Foundation

The foundation was formed in January 2014 and has two trustees, William Bortrick and Mark James Ayre. Both are people with significant control of Burke’s Peerage Enterprises, the company. 

According to its website, in 2017, the company Burke’s Peerage Limited – which includes assets, rights, titles and copyright – became owned by Bortrick. 

Last year The Daily Mail described Bortrick as a paid advisor to Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, the founder of The Mahfouz Foundation.

The Saudi billionaire received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) honour in 2016. 

The Burke’s Peerage Foundation is also registered with the Fundraising Regulator. Information regarding the foundation is on a single page on its website, which showcases its partnership with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters for the Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award. 

Invalid phone number

The phone number it provides on the Charity Commission’s website is invalid.

The Burke’s Peerage Foundation did not respond to an email requesting for comment.  

The Burke’s Peerage Twitter account is private, with all its tweets being protected unless you are granted access to them.  

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