Russian who donated more than £1m to Tory party says he has ‘zero’ influence on government

PUBLISHED: 11:22 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:40 24 July 2020

Alexander Temerko speaks to ITV News about the Russia report. Photograph: ITV.

Alexander Temerko speaks to ITV News about the Russia report. Photograph: ITV.

Archant

Tory donor Alexander Temerko has insisted Russian-linked businessmen have “zero” influence on British politics despite donating more than £1 million.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

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”.


Have your say

Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing letters@theneweuropean.co.uk and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.


Temerko said he was “absolutely” an enemy of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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.

“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 is reported that 14 cabinet ministers and members of the ISC had taken money from figures linked to Russia.

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

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.