Wife of Putin ally pays £45,000 to play tennis with Boris Johnson

PUBLISHED: 12:33 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:33 27 February 2020

Boris Johnson plays tennis in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster in London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Boris Johnson plays tennis in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster in London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

As the public ponders when the Russian interference report will be released, the Tories continue to take money off those with links to Vladimir Putin.

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Lubov Chernukhin, wife of Russia's former finance minister Vladimir Chernukhin, was one half of the pair who paid £90,000 for an opportunity to play tennis with Boris Johnson and the party's co-chairman Ben Elliot.

It was one of the auction prizes the Tories sold off as part of its black and white fundraising ball.

Another saw a gold and silver Brexit Day coin sell for £60,000.

There were prizes to take a trip on a Lancaster bomber with Grant Shapps at the controls, and a chance to win a lunch in a prison restaurant alongside Robert Buckland.

The Sun reports that Chernukhin, whose husband served under Putin between 2000 and 2002, had previously paid for a £160,000 tennis match with Johnson and then prime minister David Cameron back in 2014.

It is reported the Tories also accepted £200,000 in donations from Chernukhin days after refusing to public the report into Russian interference in UK elections.

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