Home Breaking News Starmer urges Boris to get ‘serious about tackling Russian dirty money’ and he must return £2.3m linked cash donated

Starmer urges Boris to get ‘serious about tackling Russian dirty money’ and he must return £2.3m linked cash donated

16th Feb 22 2:31 pm

The Labour leader has said that the Prime Minister must return £2.3m of Russian linked cash donated to the Tory Party.

Sir Keir Starmer urged the Prime Minister to “get serious about tackling Russian dirty money” and accused Boris Johnson of turning a “blind eye” to Russia’s influence in the UK.

Sir Keir said, “For a decade, the Tories have not just failed to challenge Russian influence – they have enabled it.

“As a result, the UK is seen as a laundromat for kleptocrats’ dirty money, our institutions have been damaged and an entire cottage industry has grown up dedicated to lobbying for and protecting those close to the Kremlin.

“If Boris Johnson is now serious about tackling Russian dirty money and influence, he should immediately get his own house in order.

“That means returning the millions of pounds of Russian-linked cash that has been donated to the Tories and their MPs since he became Prime Minister, and reversing his plans to allow unlimited donations from abroad.

“Then he should turn his attention to measures that will provide much needed transparency and clamp down on fraud and abuse.

“That mean reforming Companies House, creating a register of overseas entities and a register of foreign agents, bringing forward new counter-espionage laws and giving additional powers to the Electoral Commission in order to protect our democracy.

“We cannot afford more dither and delay from a Government that has turned a blind eye to Russian money as long as it helped aid the Tory Party.

“A failure to act now will only further strengthen Vladimir Putin in his attempts to stalk and menace his neighbours and democracies around the world.”

Lubov Chernukhin, who is married to Putin’s former deputy finance minister Vladimir Chernukhin and a banker has donated a total of £1.7m to the Conservatives.

Access Industries which is owned by Len Blavatnik made his fortune in Russia during the 90s and donated £50,000 in March last year.

Blavatnik secured British citizenship in 2010 and a knighthood in 2017 and maintains close links to the Kremlin.

Alexander Temerko, a wealthy businessman whose Aquind firm is awaiting approval for £1bn electricity interconnector under the English Channel from the government and is also a donor to the party.

A Spokesperson for Temerko has previously said, “Mr. Temerko is a Ukrainian-born British citizen and has no links to Russia.

“Mr. Temerko left Russia in 2003, following his political persecution in the well-known Yukos Oil Company case by the Putin regime.

“Since then, he has never returned to Russia, nor worked for or partnered with any Russian-linked business.”

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