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Prime Minister’s Fund Raiser Linked to the “Porn Princess”

UK- [telegraph.co.uk]- The man chosen to spearhead Labour’s fundraising represented a colourful businesswoman who made a fortune from sex chatlines and online gambling, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Jon Mendelsohn, named as Mr Brown’s director of general election resources last week, is a man who provides an unlikely link between the Prime Minister and Ruth Parasol, [pictured] co-founder of the internet company PartyGaming and the Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), which offered paying customers real-time footage of women stripping.

Mr Mendelsohn has been quoted as a personal spokesman for Miss Parasol during her time with PartyGaming.

An online gaming industry source told The Sunday Telegraph: “Mendelsohn worked for Parasol in an advisory capacity for several months.”

The revelations linking Mr Mendelsohn with Miss Parasol come just days after the appointment of Mr Mendelsohn, who has donated £5,000 towards Mr Brown’s Labour leadership campaign.

As the co-founder of the political lobbying firm LLM, he had lobbied on behalf of Ladbrokes, the bookmaking firm, for favourable gambling legislation.
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Last night, critics said the news heaped pressure on the Prime Minister to rethink the appointment of Mr Mendelsohn which came in the same week as the Government relaxed laws that now allow casinos, bookmakers and betting websites to advertise on television.

They accused Mr Brown of “double standards” for cosying up to such a hugely influential figure in the gambling industry.

Only last month, the Prime Minister seemed to be strongly signalling his dislike for the gambling industry when he killed off plans to open Britain’s first super-casino in Manchester.

Chris Grayling, the Conservative shadow minister for work and pensions, said: “This will raise more doubts about Gordon Brown’s judgement and will do further damage to his claim that he represents a change in British politics. It is utter hypocrisy.”

Mr Brown’s appointment of a man connected with the company PartyGaming will also enrage many in the City. Last year, investors lost tens of millions of pounds when PartyGaming’s shares plunged by 60  per cent on the Stock Market.

The Labour Party says that in his voluntary post Mr Mendelsohn, a former adviser to Tony Blair, will strengthen its supporter base, seek value for money in its spending, and build up its election-fighting machinery.

Like Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser, Mr Mendelsohn is an influential player in London’s Jewish community.

He co-founded LLM Communications in 1997. A year later, the company found itself embroiled, along with other lobbying firms, in the so-called “cash for access” row, fending off allegations that one of Mr Mendelsohn’s colleagues gave details of Mr Brown’s Mansion House speech to a client days before it was delivered.

LLM declared that it had committed no impropriety, adding: “We have at all times made clear that our political communications advice is based on understanding and analysis, and not on access.”

When Mr Mendelsohn’s position was announced on Wednesday, he declared: “As a lifelong Labour supporter and a passionate believer in social justice, I am delighted.”

There was no mention of his links to Miss Parasol, 40, a beautiful but somewhat reclusive Californian.

With her husband Russ DeLeon, she co-founded PartyGaming, which runs online gambling sites including the globally popular PartyPoker.com. The company is valued at about £4·7 billion

Miss Parasol’s first big entrepreneurial success is yet more intriguing. In the Nineties, before she met Mr Mendelsohn, her business activities saw her given the nickname “the porn princess”.

Mr Mendelsohn was unavailable for comment. He will seek to avoid a conflict of interest by severing all links with his company’s clients before taking up his new role.

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