Sunday, November 10, 2019
The names of several major Russian donors to British Conservatives are said to be listed in a parliamentary report on threats to democracy in Britain. This was reported by the Sunday Times newspaper, citing insider sources. The party did not comment on the report at first.
In what context the donors are called there is unclear. Their names are known anyway. Party donations over 7500 pounds (converted just under 8700 euros) must be declared in the UK. However, allegedly appearing in a report on threats from Russia is likely to cause concern among many Britons. The government refused to release the report from the Committee on Homeland Security and Intelligence, despite vehement opposition claims last week. Among other things, it was examined whether there were any interferences from Russia during the election campaign before the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds for "friend" Johnson
Some of the named donors should have private contact with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Among them is the businessman Alexander Temerko, who once described Johnson as a "friend" and speaks freely about his close relationship with the politician. For the past seven years, according to the report, he has donated £ 1.2 million to the Tories.
Another major donor in the report is Lubov Chernuchina, the wife of former Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia. Last year she is said to have donated more than 450,000 pounds to the party. Also a son of the former Russian spy and owner of the newspaper "Eveninig Standart" Alexander Lebedev occurs in it. Evgeny Lebedev is said to have invited Johnson several times to his estate near Perugia in Italy when he was Foreign Minister.
The British are to elect a new parliament on December 12th. In the election campaign, Johnson accused the Labor opposition of sympathizing with Moscow. Now he might have to justify himself.