Russian who donated more than £1m to Tory party says he has ‘zero’ influence on government
- Credit: Archant
Tory donor Alexander Temerko has insisted Russian-linked businessmen have 'zero' influence on British politics despite donating more than £1 million.
Temerko said his wealth gave him influence in the City but not Westminster.
The director of energy business Aquind, which is planning to build a £1.2 billion power pipeline from Britain to France, was born in the former Soviet Union but is now a British citizen.
Asked about the influence wielded by Russian-linked individuals like him in the capital – dubbed 'Londongrad' in the Russia report – Temerko said: 'Influence where? In the City, it is quite significant – in energy sector, yes quite significant but on a political level, zero.'
In an ITV News interview, he denied buying influence with his political donations, saying that to discuss his company with government officials would be 'very inappropriate behaviour' and 'impossible'.
Temerko said he was 'absolutely' an enemy of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
You may also want to watch:
Prime minister Boris Johnson has defended the system for accepting donations.
He said: 'I'm sorry, but we have a law a rule in our party that we don't take foreign donations.
- 1 Why don't Brexiteers like to talk about Brexit any more?
- 2 Brexit: British 'expats' in Spain facing deportation over residency
- 3 Michael O'Leary: My hope for the future over Brexit
- 4 Five years of Brexit summed up by Cold War Steve
- 5 When Eton took on a team of miners at football
- 6 Did Donald Trump really wear his trousers backwards at Republicans' North Carolina rally?
- 7 Is the Sun setting on Murdoch's global media empire?
- 8 English to be temporarily replaced by French as EU's 'working language' in 2022
- 9 Major disaster: How Tories' 1992 victory sowed seeds of Brexit
- 10 Priti Patel urged to publish promised assessment on impact of ending freedom of movement
'But, what I don't like to see is people automatically assuming everybody who is associated with some country or other is in someway untouchable – we are not a racist country.
'We are a generous, welcoming, international, outgoing country.
'That's the way we should be.
'Donations from foreigners are illegal and they should be handed back, but that I don't think is what we're talking about here.'
It listed former Tory chairman Brandon Lewis as having personally received £25,000 from Lubov Chernukhin, a banker and the wife of Putin's former deputy finance minister, and £23,000 from Temerko.
Other cabinet ministers said to have accepted money, either personally or to their constituency branch, from the two Russia-linked individuals include chancellor Rishi Sunak, business secretary Alok Sharma and justice secretary Robert Buckland.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.