Agenda: Actor Steve Coogan with Hacked Off founder Professor Brian Cathcart
A university employing the founder of the anti-Press body Hacked Off was at the centre of a racism row last night over donations worth tens of thousands of pounds from unrepentant former neo-fascist tycoon Max Mosley through a family trust.
Kingston University said it had received one donation of £45,000 from the Mosley family trust to fund ‘historical research’ for Brian Cathcart, a professor of journalism, to write a book on the Battle of Waterloo.
Last night, the university admitted it had also received ‘further donations’ from the Mosley trust for a new project led by the same academic.
The total amount given by the 77-year-old ex-Formula One (F1) tycoon Mosley — whose racist and thuggish past was exposed last week by the Mail — is unclear.
When asked how much the ‘further donations’ from the family trust of Mr Mosley — the son of fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley — were in total, the university spokesman said: ‘We have nothing further to add.’
But a student anti-racism group at the university — whose Chancellor is leading black writer and commentator Bonnie Greer — said last night that it was ‘unacceptable’ for the institution to accept the Mosley money given his ‘vile fascist past’.
At his 2008 privacy trial, brought against the News Of The World for reporting his participation in what the newspaper alleged was a ‘Nazi-themed orgy’, Mr Mosley denied the existence of a racist by-election pamphlet — which the Mail has now obtained.
The leaflet was written for a 1961 campaign during which Mr Mosley acted as agent for his father’s post-war political party the Union Movement (UM).
Last night, the university admitted it had also received ‘further donations’ from the Mosley trust for a new project led by the same academic
The pamphlet said that ‘coloured immigrants’ to Britain brought diseases such as tuberculosis, VD and leprosy. At the bottom of the front page it said: ‘Published by Max Mosley.’
Scotland Yard is examining a file from the Mail on whether Mr Mosley committed perjury at the trial. It has yet to announce whether it will launch a full-scale investigation into the tycoon.
The Mail revealed how, as a prominent figure in the UM, Max Mosley had called for black immigrants to be sent ‘home’, taken part in violent demonstrations in Jewish districts, consorted with Holocaust deniers and met former members of the Waffen-SS.
In an interview with the Guardian on Saturday, Mr Mosley attracted further outrage by defending his views on repatriation, saying: ‘It is perfectly legitimate to offer immigrants financial inducements to go home.’
The Mail investigation also reported how he was convicted of obstruction while taking part in a neo-fascist ‘counter-demonstration’ against a peaceful Trafalgar Square vigil marking the Sharpeville massacre of unarmed black civilians in South Africa by apartheid regime security forces.
As a young man, Mr Mosley openly advocated a ‘total’ apartheid of the races across Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s, he did business with the apartheid regime and lent it prestige as he helped build a £6 billion F1 empire.
A student anti-racism group at the university — whose Chancellor is leading black writer and commentator Bonnie Greer (pictured) — said last night that it was ‘unacceptable’ for the institution to accept the Mosley money given his ‘vile fascist past
Neither Mr Mosley nor the considerable donation from his family trust are acknowledged by Professor Cathcart in any edition of the resulting book, The News From Waterloo, which tells how word of Wellington’s 1815 victory reached London.
Prof Cathcart does, however, thank more than 20 other individuals or organisations for their ‘unstinting support’.
This omission calls to mind criticism of the lack of transparency in the funding of Hacked Off, which Prof Cathcart founded in 2011, with high-profile support from actor Hugh Grant and comedian Steve Coogan, and whose goals Mr Mosley supports.
Critics of Hacked Off have long wondered how Prof Cathcart could find the time to combine his academic work with his campaigning for tougher Press regulation.
In 2015, Mr Mosley said in an interview: ‘I can afford to cause trouble . . . if I want to be friends with the Prime Minister and I give £1 million, I will get access and invitations. It may be wrong, but it is not illegal.’
Prof Cathcart is not the only public figure with a disdain for the popular media who has benefited from Mr Mosley’s largesse.
He handed Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson £540,000 over 18 months in 2015-17.
With Mr Mosley refusing to apologise for his past, Mr Watson is under pressure to hand that ‘tainted’ money back. Labour has said it will no longer accept cash from Max.
Now Kingston University faces similar scrutiny.
Last night, neither the university nor its Chancellor, Ms Greer, had responded to a series of questions about the donation and its relationship with Mr Mosley, other than to issue a one-line statement which confirmed more Mosley funding.
It said: ‘The University has received further donations from the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust to part-fund work led by Professor Brian Cathcart developing a major new online educational and research resource for the public, due to be launched later this year.’
However, Richard Donnelly, of the Kingston University branch of campaigning group Stand Up To Racism, said: ‘We were not previously aware of the donation made by Mr Mosley.
‘We are shocked that the university management chose to accept a donation from a man who has been so clearly tied up in fascist politics.
‘Even prior to these new revelations, Max Mosley has made little attempt to distance himself from his past as an active fascist.
The tycoon rigidly stuck to the 1963 claim as the Mail forensically exposed his thuggish and racially bigoted conduct as an important figure in the UM. As an election agent, Max had published a repulsive pamphlet (pictured) accusing ‘coloured immigrants’ of spreading ‘terrible’ diseases such as TB, VD and leprosy — the existence of which he denied under oath at a 2008 privacy trial
‘Kingston University is a multi-cultural institution in which more than half of students are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. Any connections between the university and people involved in fascist politics are a scandal that shames the management of the university.’
Mr Donnelly added: ‘Mr Mosley has failed to distance himself from, or show remorse for, his vile fascist past, and on this basis, we believe that it was unacceptable for Kingston University to receive donations from him. We face the rise of fascist political forces across Europe.’
A spokesperson for Kingston University said: ‘The University received a donation from the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust for a fellowship to support historical research by Professor Brian Cathcart. This led to the publication of The News From Waterloo, released to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the battle.’
Royalties from sales of around 2,500 copies of Prof Cathcart’s Waterloo book are likely to have earned the author little more than £3,000. It is unclear how many copies were sold digitally, but typically it is around 10 per cent of the print total.
Max Mosley uses the same trust which made donations to Kingston and Prof Cathcart as a vehicle for pledging via another charity almost £4 million to the controversial State-approved Press regulator Impress — a regulator to which no national newspaper will sign up.
Last month, Mr Mosley launched a controversial legal case seeking to use the Data Protection Act to prevent the media from reporting not only his sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes, but his role as major financial backer of Impress, which is supported by Prof Cathcart’s Hacked Off.
When Prof Cathcart took a sabbatical with Hacked Off in 2013, questions were asked about who was paying his salary.
At the time, Kingston University said the Data Protection Act prevented it from discussing Prof Cathcart’s absence.
A prolific user of social media and a prominent critic of racism, the academic has been strangely silent on Twitter on the subject of the Mail’s bombshell revelations.
And despite having been asked more than a week ago a series of questions about the Mosley family trust donation, the journalism professor has failed to respond.
The university confirmed that the questions had been passed to him. Kingston Chancellor Ms Greer is advertised to attend the forthcoming Byline Festival in August. Byline is a website with close links to Hacked Off.
Mr Mosley is a shareholder in Byline. Others due to attend the festival include actor and Hacked Off director Hugh Grant and Mosley beneficiary Tom Watson.