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Russian friend of Boris Johnson takes seat in House of Lords

Russian media mogul Evgeny Lebedev has taken his seat in the House of Lords - Credit: Parliament Live

Russian media mogul Evgeny Lebedev has taken his seat in the House of Lords.

The 40-year-old, who owns the Evening Standard and the Independent, is a long-time friend of Boris Johnson.

His appointment to the unelected chamber along with the prime minister’s brother Jo Johnson and Brexiteer cricketer Sir Ian Botham, fuelled accusations of “cronyism” and prompted criticism in the face of efforts to curb the size of the Lords.

Lord Lebedev, who wore the traditional scarlet robes for the short introduction ceremony, was supported by Big Issue founder Lord Bird and Tory former chancellor Lord Clarke of Nottingham as he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.

Giving his full title, the clerk referred to him as “Baron Lebedev of Hampton in our London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and of Siberia in the Russian Federation”.

Lord Lebedev will sit as an independent crossbencher.

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