Posted: Thursday, 2 March 2017 @ 09:31
David Beckham may be upset that he has been passed over for knighthood and some embarrassing emails(doctored or not) have emerged that cast doubt as to his motives for doing charity work.
However, irrespective of his motives, Mr Beckham would not be the first to be using charity work or whatever to obtain an honour from Her Majesty or one that can be used in this country.
In the past two years I was involved in a Court case where the following happened:
1 My client who was a longstanding employee of the other side gave witness evidence to me that his former boss, Mr X had paid a sum of £1m+ to a Commonwealth Country with the main purpose of obtaining a Knighthood. The reason for going down this abroad route(rather than the UK) was that the UK committee system was reluctant to hand a knighthood over to Mr X.
2 The Commonwealth country was very enthusiastic about Mr X investing in this country and doing the charity work in return for a knighthood. This was done where only a handful people knew. e.g Mr X, my client, a prime minister and one or two others. The Charity work was complete and a knighthood emerged. A modest cash payment was made to a fixer who was not part of the Commonwealth government but rather to someone of high standing in the country.
3 The Charity project is complete and Mr X and becomes Sir X. While this is a knighthood in a foreign country, Sir X starts using his Knighthood name not just in the Commonwealth country but in the UK which as we see below is an offence.
4 In fact in my Court case we do not use these allegations and there are a number of reasons why. Despite the fact that I have little reason to doubt the veracity of my client, the allegations are so explosive, but difficult to prove, do not directly relate to the law case in hand, my client did not want to allege this in Court and in fact we had so much other (directly relevant) evidence which was nearly as damaging.
5 The Court case is settled. A last minute deal is done. No allegations are made in Court.
After the Court case there are two interesting developments which may be linked.
The Mail on Sunday revealed that officials at Buckingham Palace had written to a Labour donor and friend of the Commonwealth Secretary-General warning him to stop acting as a British knight, after the newspaper said that 46-year-old PR consultant Anthony Bailey turned up in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot sporting a badge saying ‘Sir Anthony Bailey’, despite repeated warnings he is not allowed to refer to himself as such in Britain.
Sir X stops using his name as Sir in the UK and reverts to Mr X. It is possible that he got spooked by the Mail on Sunday.
The Knighthood project was a partial success.