Boris Johnson's Conservative party have received a surge in cash from Russian donors
- Boris Johnson's Conservative Party have received a surge in donations from Russians in recent months.
- Donors with ties to Putin have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party.
- They have previously paid for meetings with senior government figures including Johnson.
- The figures come as Johnson blocks publication of a report into potential Russian influence over recent UK elections.
- Johnson's senior strategist Dominic Cummings is also under the spotlight following reports about time he spent in Russia in the 1990s.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
A new investigation reveals that Boris Johnson's Conservative party have received a surge in cash from Russian donors over the past year, as his government blocks publication of a report into Russian influence over recent elections.An OpenDemocracy investigation found that the UK Conservative party received at least £498,850 from Russian business people and their associates between November 2018 and October 2019.Advertisement
This was a significant increase on the previous year when they received donations amounting to less than £350,000.
It comes despite increased pressure on the party to cut its ties to Russian oligarchs since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last year.It also comes as Johnson's chief strategist Dominic Cummings came under the spotlight for alleged Russian ties, after the Sunday Times reported claims from a whistleblower about "serious concerns" about the time he spent in Russia in the 1990s.
Donors dinners and tennis games
London-based PR firm New Century Media donated £20,000 to the Conservatives in May of this year.
The company has a series of links to Russia. In 2013, the Russian government paid the firm to portray a "positive image" of the country in the UK, OpenDemocracy found.New Century Media also reportedly played a role in helping Vasily Shestakov, Putin's judo partner, meet ex-prime minister David Cameron at a Conservative party fund-raising dinner in 2014.Advertisement
Other donors include Russian-born banker Lev Mikheev and energy tycoon Alexander Temerko.
Temerko once said he and his "friend" Boris Johnson would "plot" and drink wine together at Johnson's parliamentary office, when the current prime minister was the UK's foreign secretary, Reuters reported.A Conservative party spokesperson said: "The Conservative Party does not accept foreign donations - as they are illegal."Advertisement
They said that the donors reported by OpenDemocracy "have lived in Britain for many years and are British citizens, which gives them the democratic right to donate to a political party."
Johnson blocks report on Russian interference
The UK Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee sent Johnson its report weeks ago but the prime minister is yet to sign it off and make it public, according to committee chair, member of Parliament Dominic Grieve.Johnson's government will not publish the 50-page report until after the general election on December 12. The Foreign Office Minister Christopher Pincher told MPs on Tuesday that it would be "some time" before it was published, adding that: "When the prime minister has concluded that the report is publishable he will publish it."Advertisement
Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.
- PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme's sixth instalment will be sent to 10 crore farmers from August 1
- Vikas Dubey killed in an encounter reportedly 'trying to flee'
- Nepal bans all Indian news channels except DD News
- Lockdown restrictions for IT, ITES units in Chennai relaxed
- 10 abandoned mansions around the world that likely used to be worth millions