The Intelligence & Security Committee revealed today that “The UK Govt have actively avoided looking for evidence that Russia interfered” in British politics “ministers could have instructed them to investigate (i.e. the intelligence services) but nothing like that actually happened”.
Members of the committee further expressed concerns over the fact that “rumours first surfaced of Russian involvement in politics in the Scottish referendum 6 years ago but, since then, nothings happened” and ask… “who is protecting the British public from interference in our democratic process” and found they could only conclude “no one is!…we are undoubtedly saying that there are Russians living in the UK today who have a great deal of money, who will be using that money in order to further the aims of the Putin regime, on whom they are ultimately entirely dependent if they are to survive, economically, unless they have entirely broken their ties with Russia itself”
We think it’s worth recalling at this point that the Mirror newspaper reported back in early 2018 how one particular Russian donor, Lubov Chernukhin, the banker wife of Russia’s former deputy finance minister, had donated £241,000 to the Tory party during a fund raising dinner shortly before the 2017 election. In that article we also learned that, back in 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron had simply dismissed claims that Chernukhin was a “Putin crony”, after it had emerged that she’d previously paid £160,000 for a tennis match with the then Prime Minister Cameron and Boris Johnson.
According to the Electoral Commission Chernukhin has been donating to the Tories since 2012, although she was initially listed as an ‘Impermissible Donor’. She has subsequently donated a total £1,978,304.40 in 56 payments over the last 8-9yrs.
So it seems if you’re a wealthy Tory donor, our govt is prepared to allow you to fly under the radar and even risk national security.
UPDATE: 22nd July 2020 : 14.12…
As the MSM choose to focus on Russia’s abuse of social media platforms (even though it would be hard to argue they would be the only country guilty of such practices) and completely side step the question of how far Russian operatives have managed to scale the ladder of political influence in the UK, there was one BBC interview, earlier today, that took an interesting diversion from script. Ava Lee, the Digital Threats Campaign Leader at Global Witness, a think tank that focuses on confronting corruption and the systems that enable it and consequently undermine human rights and environment protections, told the BBC that there’s five times as much Russian money being siphoned off to British tax havens than there is being spent in the city of London. She goes on to explain that despite a longstanding campaign to improve transparency around British tax havens nothing has been done. Lee explains that a bill to create a property register of overseas entities that would actually help stop money laundering by foreign oligarchs has been ready to go for months.