Parliamentary report ‘too controversial’ to be released during a pre-election period
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office has not published a parliamentary report on interference by wealthy Russians in British elections, despite security services clearing it last month.
The least hair-raising sentence in the Byline Times, is that Dominic Grieve, chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, alleges that Boris Johnson personally blocked – for “bogus” reasons – the imminent publication of this cross-party report.
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A Reuters article, published by the Moscow Times, quotes a Sunday Times newspaper report that nine wealthy Russians have donated to Britain’s Conservative Party, identifying three of the nine oligarchs:
- Lyubov Chernukhina, the wife of former deputy Finance Minister Vladimir Chernukhin, the “largest Tory donor” with £450,000 ($579,000) donated to the Conservatives in the past year.
- Ex-KGB spy and current business tycoon Alexander Lebedev. His son Yevgeny Lebedev, who co-owns Britain’s Independent and Evening Standard newspapers with his father, was reported to have entertained then-Foreign Secretary Johnson at a party in his family’s castle in Italy last year.
- Alexander Temerko, who has worked both with Russia’s Defense Ministry and the defunct oil company Yukos. The Times reported that Temerko, who was called one of the party’s major donors earlier this year, donated £1.5 million ($1.9 million) to the Conservatives in seven years. Read more about him in a special Reuters report (below)
The BBC reports that the former head of the Foreign Office, Lord Ricketts, said claims that the government needed time to respond was a red herring, as it had 60 days in which to do so under existing conventions.
It also adds that ‘people familiar with the committee’s workings’ say 10 days should have been adequate for it to be cleared, Transport minister Grant Shapps denied that the government is deliberately sitting on the report , saying the government is “not allowed to publish things that are seen as controversial in any way” during a pre-election period.
Lord Ricketts said there was a “clear public interest” for publication . . . “
Posted on November 13, 2019, in 2019 General Election, Business, Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Finance, Government, Lobbying, Party funding, Vested interests and tagged Alexander Temerko, BBC, Byline Times, Lord Ricketts, MP Grant Shapps, Reuters, Russian oligarchs, Tory donor. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
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