Lured by fees of £100,000 a month, the PR firm ran a secret campaign to stir up racial tension on behalf of its billionaire clients

Much seemed at stake in January 2016 when a delegation headed by veteran PR supremo Lord Bell jetted to South Africa to pitch for business from the Guptas, the Indian-born family at the centre of the nation’s biggest political scandal since the end of apartheid.

Bell Pottinger, the public relations agency that Margaret Thatcher’s favourite PR adviser co-founded with Piers Pottinger in 1987, stood to gain lucrative fees of £100,000 a month.

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