• Boris Johnson's conservative party has received donations from nine Russian donors, suspected of being linked to the Kremlin, according to an official report that was repressed by the prime minister.
  • Johnson has chosen to block the release of the report amid fears that it could cost him the next general election.
  • The information disclosed in the report links Johnson's party to Russian oligarchs based in London, some of whom have known links with Russian security services.
  • Donations of Russian personalities to the Conservative party have increased significantly over the last year.
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Boris Johnson's conservative party received an increase in funding from nine Russian donors, who were named in a crackdown on Russia's attempts to undermine democracy in the UK.

The report of the Parliament's Committee on Intelligence and Security identifies close ties between the main donors of the conservative party and the Russian government, the Sunday Times reports.

The report was due to appear this week but was blocked by Johnson, fearing that this information would hurt his chances of winning the next general election in the UK.

Among the donors cited in the deleted report are Alexander Temerko, who worked for the Russian Ministry of Defense and has already boasted that the prime minister is his "friend".

Temerko has made more than £ 1.2 million to conservatives over the past seven years.

Other Russian donors to the conservative party include Lubov Chernukhin, married to Vladimir Chernukhin, a former ally of Putin.

Chernukhin had previously paid £ 160,000 for a tennis match with Johnson and former Prime Minister David Cameron and had donated more than £ 450,000 over the past year.

The investigation also raised concerns about former Russian spy Alexander Lebedev, to whom belong the newspapers Evening Standard and Independent.

Lebedev's son, Evgeny, is an intimate friend of the Prime Minister and has hosted him several times at parties in his castle in Perugia (Italy), while Johnson was mayor of London and secretary for foreign affairs.

Concerns were expressed about Johnson's decision to attend the events, during which guests indicated that "nothing was off the menu from the moment you were greeted when you left".

Fears have already been expressed that Johnson's privacy could make him a "security risk" because of the possibility that he will be blackmailed.

"There is a risk that people will sink what they have on him or blackmail," said a Theresa May government minister to the Sunday Times earlier this year.

"Billionaires are funding the Conservative Party, so this sordid coverage should not be surprising.

Opposition Labor accused Johnson of trying to hide the story.

"The Tories have blocked this report and oppose fiscal transparency so that their funders can continue to rip us off without us being challenged," said Andrew Gwynne, Labor's election coordinator. .

"The workforce is on the side of the majority, not the minority, so we are going to get some dirty money out of politics, introduce a levy on oligarchs and defend the vested interests by selling our people and our public services. "

"What makes it interesting is the closeness of these people with the FSB"

boris johnson resigns from prime minister

Boris Johnson

Getty


Sources who saw the report told the Times that they thought it was suppressed because it highlighted many links between conservative donors and the Federal Security Office of Russia. .

"What's interesting is how some of these people are or have been close to the FSB," a newspaper source said.

An investigation by Open Democracy this week revealed that the Conservative party had received at least £ 498,850, or approximately $ 642,000, from Russian business leaders and their associates between November 2018 and last month.

This is a significant increase over the previous year when these donations amounted to less than £ 350,000.

The increase took place despite the increased pressure on the party for it to cut its ties with Russian oligarchs since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last year.

The news also arrives with Johnson's chief strategist, Dominic Cummings, in the limelight after the Sunday Times reported a whistleblower's statements about "serious concerns" about the time that's going on. 39, he spent in Russia in the 1990s.

Cummings' access to intelligence would have been limited by the UK authorities, despite his senior management position.

Labor MP Ben Bradshaw told the Sydney Morning Herald this week that this "unprecedented deal" was a concern for Britain's security relations with other countries.

"If I am one of the allies of the UK with Five Eyes, I would be extremely concerned about this unprecedented arrangement," said Bradshaw.

"Boris Johnson's chief of staff, whose account of his stay in Russia is apparently full of shortcomings and inaccuracies, is inexplicably granted the highest level of security control without having full access to intelligence information. . "