Imperial’s Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology is partly funded by a family trust owned by former Formula One boss Max Mosley.
The Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust was set up in memory of Mosley’s son, who died of a suspected drug overdose in 2009. Since then, the trust has donated at least £600,000 to the centre, which is headed by Professor David Nutt. Professor Nutt’s recent work has looked at the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs in treating depression.
The trust has also provided funding to Dr. Ben Sessa, a psychiatrist researching the use of MDMA as a treatment for PTSD. Dr. Sessa was due to speak about his work yesterday at an event hosted by Imperial’s Psychedelic Studies society, which was cancelled because of poor weather. The trust has given more than £1 million to St Peter’s College, Oxford, where Alexander Mosley studied. The deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, has also accepted donations totalling more than £500,000 from the trust. Watson is also in charge of Labour’s policies on press regulation.
Mosley bankrolls the state-recognised press regulator Impress via the trust. Only a few small publications and websites have signed up to Impress; the majority of national and local publications are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso).
Mosley’s interest in press regulation stems from his successful legal battle against News of the World in 2008. The trial centred on a News of the World story about Mosley’s sadomasochistic involvement with five prostitutes, but Mosley was also questioned on election literature published for the British Union of Fascists, which was led by Mosley’s father, Sir Oswald Mosley.
During the trial Mosley claimed to have no recollection of publishing campaign leaflets calling for black people to be deported and accusing immigrants of carrying diseases such as leprosy, syphilis, and TB. A copy of one of the leaflets carrying the words “published by Max Mosley” emerged earlier this week. Mosley continued to deny his involvement in the 1961 by-election campaign in an interview with Channel 4 News’ Cathy Newman. Police are now assessing evidence relating to a possible charge of perjury against Mosley.
The College has not commented.