Tories accepted £200,000 from Russians days after refusing to publish interference report
PUBLISHED: 15:40 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 19:18 23 November 2019
The Conservative Party accepted £200,000 from the wife of a former Russian finance minister under president Putin, just days after refusing to publish a report into Russian interference in UK elections.
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Business Insider has reported that the prime minister's party received £5.6 million in donations in the first week of the campaign, from senior business figures and hedge funds, more than 25 times the amount raised by the opposition Labour party.
The largest single donation received in the first week of the campaign was £200,000 from Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of Russian oligarch Vladmir Chernukhin.
Chernukhin has reportedly paid £160,000 for a tennis match with the prime minister, and £135,000 for a night with former prime minister Theresa May.
Before parliament dissolved, Johnson's government refused to publish a report by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) into potential Russian interference in UK elections.
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The report was leaked by The Times, and claims Russian interference may have affected the 2016 referendum, although the impact is 'unquantifiable'.
Parliament's intelligence committee, chaired by Dominic Grieve, said British intelligence services failed to devote enough resources to counter the threat and highlighted the impact of articles posted by Russian new sites that were widely disseminated on social media, according to The Times.
Labour's foreign affairs spokeswoman, Emily Thornberry, said: "Boris Johnson therefore needs to clear up the confusion, spin and speculation around this (intelligence committee) report by publishing it in full at the earliest opportunity.
"If not, people will rightly continue to ask: what is he trying to hide from the British public and why?"
The report into Russian interference will not be published until after the election, even in spite of a petition which received more than 230,000 signatures.
The Conservative Party has been contacted for comment.
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