The Daily Telegraph

Chairman of Prince’s Foundation resigns

- By Victoria Ward

THE Prince of Wales suffered another blow yesterday as the chairman of his charitable foundation quit and an executive director “stepped aside” amid a cash-for-access scandal.

The resignatio­n of Douglas Connell, chairman of the Prince’s Foundation, comes after the Scottish charity regulator (OSCR) began investigat­ing claims that a Russian banker tried to make a donation of more than £500,000 to the organisati­on last May. Mystery now surrounds the money’s whereabout­s.

The Prince wrote a note thanking Dmitry Leus, 51, and proposing that they meet after Covid lockdown ended.

Mr Connell, the foundation’s chairman of trustees since March, expressed concern about reports of “rogue activity” at the charity. He said he was “shocked and dismayed” by the allegation­s, adding: “I and the other members of the board of trustees had no knowledge of any such activity and we have launched an independen­t investigat­ion.

“My view is that the person chairing any organisati­on should take responsibi­lity if it appears that serious misconduct may have taken place within it.”

Chris Martin, an executive director of developmen­t, is also standing down pending the outcome of the investigat­ion. It comes after Michael Fawcett, one of the Prince’s closest aides, stepped down as chief executive of the foundation earlier this month amid cash for honours allegation­s.

Mr Leus’s donation was intended to

‘My view is that the person chairing any organisati­on should take responsibi­lity’

help fund a restoratio­n project at Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

The charity initially received £100,000 but its ethics committee rejected the gift after discoverin­g Mr Leus had been found guilty of money laundering in Russia in 2004 before the conviction was overturned.

Mr Leus says that the donation – handed to the foundation through a third party – was never returned to him and he is considerin­g legal action.

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