Mazher Mahmoud and the News of the World strike again!

Silly Sarah Ferguson is waking up this morning to the news that she is, once again for the wrong reasons, front page news.

The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, has been caught on camera in a seemingly seedy deal to sell access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

According to the report, the down-at-heel ex-royal was filmed accepting a $40,000 cash down-payment from an undercover reporter from the newspaper.

The News of the World claim that Fergie was acting on her own behalf and that the Prince knew nothing of the deal. This is despite her claims that she had already discussed this with Prince Andrew in a precursor to setting up a meeting between them.

Not only did she want the $40,000 down payment she also wanted a 1% ‘commission’ on any future deals between what she thought was a rich businessman and her ex-husband.

This will not just be embarrassing for her and the Royal Family, but also for British business as a whole. The prince is the UK’s Trade Ambassador and has a roving brief to promote British business. Any hint of impropriety would be very damaging to his position. The News of the World are at great pains to say that this is not the case and that Silly Sarah was acting totally on her own behalf.

The News of the World say they came to this story via a ‘close royal associate’ whistleblower, who said that the Duchess had been cashing in on the Duke’s position as well as setting up a company to handle these dubious transactions.

At no time did Fergie even ask to check out the reporter/businessman’s credentials. She seemed more intent on painting a picture of her own poverty whilst having business access to the Prince.

She will now be expecting resurgence in press interest in her activities for the worst possible reasons. There may also be a lot of worried business men sitting down for what they thought would be a relaxing sunny Sunday, wondering if their names will come out in the aftermath of these revelations.

Just two months ago we had the MP’s ‘cabs for hire’ case where certain MPs were lining up to sell access to ministers. Now after the MPs of Hoon, Hewitt, Byers, Moran, Caborn and Ingram, we have Silly Sarah chancing her arm.

Not only is all this socially and politically embarrassing, there is also the aspect of the law in all this. It could also become very legally embarrassing if it is decided that fraud was involved.

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