Warne poker deals new turmoil

Warne poker deals new turmoil, Fiona Hudson - 9th October 2008
(Credit: Herald Sun)

A high-stakes charity poker match co-hosted by Shane Warne has sparked a political stoush.

There are claims that celebrities who attended the $25,000-a-head night, which attracted stars including singer Sting and actor Hugh Grant, did not realise some of their donations would go towards Britain's Conservative Party.

The event was organised by ecologist Zac Goldsmith to raise money for the Shane Warne Foundation and another group called Ecology Grants.

Warne said soon after the event that 30raiser players had paid $25,000 each to play.

"In total, we reckon we raised more than $500,000 for the charities, which makes it a wonderful evening," he said.

Ecology Grants bankrolls an environmental group set up by Conservative leader David Cameron to develop policies, it was reported yesterday.

A spokesman for Warne said the cricketer had no idea the event was raising money for a political party.

"Shane is not linked to any political party and believed this was an event to raise money for the Shane Warne Foundation," he said.

A spokesman for Mr Goldsmith denied claims by the Labour Party that Warne and other celebrities had been duped into funding the Tories.

"The causes being supported by the event... were clearly on the invitations," he said.


Shane Warne