A quarter of Boris Johnson’s cabinet took money linked to Russia as Tories march to conference

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The Tories’ coffers have been swelled by £ 2million by donors with ties to Russia since Boris Johnson became prime minister – and a quarter of cabinet ministers have benefited from the money from just three sources though connected

One-third of cabinet ministers received donations from three former Russian businessmen

The Conservative Party’s inflated coffers have been inflated by £ 2million by donors with ties to Russia since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, a Sunday Mirror investigation has revealed.

Almost a quarter of ministers attending cabinet have accepted donations from just three well-connected ex-Russians.

It comes as the Prime Minister shows his new cabinet at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, where a huge delivery of alcohol was seen being delivered for worshipers to enjoy.

Ministers whose offices or constituencies have benefited include Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and five other MPs who sit in Cabinet.

Tycoons and benefactors are throwing money at Tories at an astonishing rate as ordinary Britons face painful cuts in universal credit, increases in national insurance and soaring energy bills.

In the first six months of 2020, donations have reached £ 57,700 per day – £ 2,400 per hour.

Donations total £ 74million since Mr Johnson took office in 2019.

This compares to £ 38million in the previous two years, under Theresa May, according to Election Commission figures.

The money tied to Russia comes to light after a report last year uncovered allegations Moscow sought to influence voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum.








Booze arriving in Manchester ahead of the Tories conference
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Picture:

CHRIS NEILL / MAVERICK PHOTOGRAPHY LIMITED)




The Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee made 21 recommendations to combat Russian interference in British democracy. For years the oligarchs have been able to “buy” citizenship in exchange for a £ 2million investment in British bonds or stocks through a bank. The report states that the money was invested in “public relations companies, charities, political interests, universities and cultural institutions” – all of which were “voluntary recipients of Russian money”.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “The government is failing in its first duty to protect our country. It has been a year since the Russia report and not a single recommendation has been implemented.

“Ministers are sleeping behind the wheel, not acting on crucial national security issues – from cyber warfare to interference in democratic processes and the laundromat of dirty money.

“This inexcusable lack of action puts our whole country at risk.”








The Sunday Mirror investigation identified seven of the 30 people who frequent the firm
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Picture:

PENNSYLVANIA)




Alexander Temerko and his company Aquind Energy made a series of donations. Some £ 10,000 went to the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency of Treasury Secretary Simon Clarke. Aquind is seeking permission to build a massive energy interconnector under the Channel and in 2012 it secured a government grant of £ 4.5million.

In 2015, Mr Sunak also saw a donation of £ 6,000 to his constituency of Richmond, Yorks, from Mr Temerko, a former aide to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has withdrew from decisions on the Aquind plan due to £ 17,000 in donations from Mr Temerko during his years as minister for business.





COP26 President Alok Sharma accepted £ 10,000 in donations to his constituency association of Aquind in 2019, plus £ 15,000 from Mr Temerko’s former Offshore Group Newcastle (OGN) in 2014.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis received a donation of £ 10,000 from banker Ms Lubov Chernukhin, the Tories’ largest individual donor.

Dominic Raab says £ 25,000 donation to his constituency of Esher and Walton from Dmitry Leus – whose £ 500,000 donation to royal charities sparked a row over claims that foreigners could ‘buy ” the residence.



There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of Mr Temerko, Ms Chernukhin or Mr Leus – all British citizens.

A spokesperson for Mr Leus told the Mirror: “He has not played any active role in politics. He has dedicated time and resources to philanthropic causes, in 2018 establishing the Leus Family Foundation, a UK registered charity, to support children and young people.

A spokesperson for Mr Temerko said: “Mr Temerko is a British citizen of Ukrainian origin and has no ties to Russia.

Ms Chernukhin’s attorneys said: “The donations have never been tainted by the Kremlin or other influences.”


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Edward L. Robinett

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