According to BBC News, the next big scandal to sweep Boris Johnson’s sleaze-ridden Parliament is likely to be one of hostile states buying access to MPs and Lords.
But we already know that Russia has had access to Johnson himself since long before he became prime minister!
The BBC report says All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are vulnerable to “improper lobbying” by foreign actors, quoting the case of Christine Lee, of the Chinese Communist Party, who helped set up the Chinese in Britain APPG.
It also says she made donations to Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. Let’s have a bit of balance:
This Writer considers the report to be a sign of bias against those parties by the BBC, as the report makes no mention of the massive influence exerted over the Conservative Party – through its leader – by Russia.
And the Russians have never needed APPGs to wield this power – they just went straight to Tory MPs.
Let’s remind ourselves of the UK government’s Russian connections. Consider this:
The so-called ‘Russia Report’, released in July 2020 after being delayed by Johnson for more than nine months so it would not harm his chances in the 2019 general election, defined Russian influence over UK politics as “the new normal” – at least while Tories like Johnson are in charge.
It said successive Conservative governments have welcomed Russian oligarchs “with open arms”, giving them access to political figures “at the highest levels” – and made absolutely no attempt to investigate Russian interference in referendums and elections; in fact, the Tories “actively avoided” doing so.
This has led, the report states, to the growth of an industry of “enablers” who are “de facto agents of the Russian state”. The report does not explicitly state that these enablers include Conservative government politicians, but its assertion that Russia had access to “the highest levels” of political figures certainly suggests that this is the case.
Johnson himself was considered a security risk by the UK’s national security services while he was Foreign Secretary – and with good reason.
Remember the time he went to a party to meet a former KGB agent, Alexander Lebedev, days after attending a Nato summit on Russia?
Who knows what secrets may have emerged from this tactless and indiscreet fool’s flapping gums?
That’s just one incident that is known to us. How many more have there been?
How about this?
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has definitely taken donations from people linked to Russia’s President Putin – and provided private meetings with the last three UK prime ministers in return.
The money totalling £1.7 million came from Vladimir Chernukhin via his wife Lubov, according to the so-called FinCEN files – leaked “suspicious activity reports” by banks.
And a lot of information came out when Johnson’s government dragged its heels about imposing sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war:
Public opinion is that the Tories have been slow to act because they have taken a fortune in donations from Russians – and they want to know what these UK politicians were asked to do in return for that – as they understand it – dirty money.
Rather than respond to that question, the government seems to have chosen to leave it hanging in the air – trying to divert attention to what it is doing now:
Apparently a minister (was it Hinds?) said that Unexplained Wealth Orders were introduced years ago to allow the government to confiscate assets from people suspected of wrongdoing – and it is widely believed that much of the Russian cash flowing around the UK – and British politics – is ill-gotten. But this just provoked another hard question – and embarrassing answer:
So, Unexplained Wealth Orders have been an unqualified failure – were they mentioned merely to provide an appearance of activity when none has taken place?
It was Boris Johnson’s old friend Lubov Chernukhin. She donated £13,750 in October and £66,500 in December, just months before Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine. In total she has handed £2 million to the Tories.
And what do you think of this?
The analysis – which includes many legitimate companies – suggests that thousands of firms listed on the UK’s business register are controlled by Russian nationals who live in the country, with some linked to Putin’s allies.
The final example of Russian influence in the UK, that I’ll include in this article, is something I heard on Radio 4’s Today programme on March 3:
The presenter – I think it was Evan Davis – said it had been suggested that properties like Sutton Place could be seized and used to house displaced Ukrainians. He expressed deep scepticism that the Tory government would ever have the courage to make such a move.
The Tories have only just announced that they’re postponing publication of any revelations of how Evgeny Lebedev – son of the former Russian spy Alexander who Boris Johnson was reported to have met (above) – was made a UK Lord despite deep reservations by the security services. Because the revelations will be damning and they don’t want to mess up their chances in the local elections?
And yet those Tory stooges at BBC News want you to think APPGs, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are the security risk.