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Tories took donations from oligarch linked to Putin. Is this why they never investigated Russian interference in UK politics?

Vladimir Putin: has Boris Johnson been his puppet since before he became the UK’s prime minister?

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.

According to BBC News,

Leaked files show her husband received $8m (£6.1m). The money initially came from a politician facing US sanctions due to his closeness to the Kremlin.

A leak of banks’ “suspicious activity reports” … shows Vladimir Chernukhin was sent the money in 2016 from a British Virgin Islands company linked to Suleyman Kerimov.

Billionaire Mr Kerimov is the owner of Russia’s biggest gold mine and member of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

In 2018 he was sanctioned by the US authorities, who were targeting those they said “play a key role in advancing Russia’s malign activities”.

Mr Chernukhin, 52, is a former deputy minister of finance under Vladimir Putin, who left Russia for London in 2004 after being sacked by the president.

The Chernukhins – one of the UK’s most prominent Russian-born couples – are now both British citizens and live in London.

Mrs Chernukhin’s donations to the Conservative Party began in 2012.

The majority – more than £1.5m – came after the $8m payment linked to Mr Kerimov was made to her husband on 29 April 2016, although it is not clear if any of that cash went to the Tories.

Mrs Chernukhin’s lawyers say the Kremlin had no influence because of the donations – but they would, wouldn’t they?

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has suffered a huge amount of bad publicity over his reluctance to do anything about suspicious donations from Russians linked to Putin’s government.

A report on Russian interference in UK politics – including the use of donations to influence policy – was due to be published before last year’s general election but Boris Johnson shelved it for no good reason.

It remained unpublished until pressure finally forced Johnson to re-convene the UK’s security committee, responsible for it, in July this year – nine months after the public should have seen it.

And it showed that 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.

The Tories had been delighted to welcome Russian money and the oligarchs who owned it, “providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’.”

In response to the report, the government said it saw no evidence of interference – but it seems clear that there is a good reason for that: nobody was looking. The report made it clear that the defence of UK democratic processes was a “hot potato” over which no government organisation wanted to take the lead in conducting an assessment of Russian interference.

So we already had evidence that Conservative government had given Russian oligarchs who donated money to the party unprecedented access to – and, we may conclude, influence over – top-ranked political figures including the last three prime ministers.

Now we have evidence that this money is likely to have come from the Kremlin, attached to demands from the Putin government.

If Boris Johnson and his government continue to deny any wrongdoing – while refusing to allow an independent investigation – the public will have no choice but to brand them as corrupt lackeys of the Russians.

I mean…

How does it look to you?

Source: FinCEN Files: Tory donor Lubov Chernukhin linked to $8m Putin ally funding – BBC News

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Is Keir Starmer re-installing corruption into the Labour Party, with the wealth of private donors?


There is nothing to praise in the way Keir Starmer has managed to replace a small subscriptions by a large amount of people with large donations by a small number of wealthy benefactors.

No matter how The Guardian dresses it up, it signals a return to the bad days of New Labour, when the party’s direction was dictated by a small number of wealthy donors – for their own gain – rather than by its members for the good of the UK as a whole.

Look at this, from the Guardian‘s article:

“I would not give Labour money under Corbyn, but I would now be happy to give money to Labour,” said one significant former donor.

Those are the words of a person who is “for the few, not the many” – an inversion of Labour’s famous slogan.

The article also quotes Michael Levy, “Labour’s leading fundraiser under Tony Blair”, as follows:

Whereas I would say major donors would have had no interest over this last period, I think there is a real possibility now that they will return to the fold. The party needs to be funded by people who believe in the cause.

Whose cause?

Some of us have very clear ideas about that:

Consider this, from a sitting Labour MP:

That is absolutely right. And a return to a situation where private donors have more say than the rank-and-file members is simply unacceptable.

Look at a few other comments and consider the implications:

If Corbyn’s Labour was “crony donor free”, then Starmer’s isn’t – and that is a bad thing.

https://twitter.com/Kayayemela/status/1292163222540361729

Again, “individual wealthy backers” = bad.

“The Labour Party should be about the people. Always.” But the presence of wealthy donors will prevent that.

James Foster is right. As are the others.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour didn’t need “big money”. It had plenty of “small money”, if that’s how some people want to describe it.

The fact that “big money” is coming back to Keir Starmer’s Labour indicates that “small money” is leaving.

It also indicates that “big money” wants to support Starmer’s appeasement of those staffers who are accused of sabotaging the Corbyn project, of racism, misogyny and in some cases anti-Semitism. Because it makes Corbyn look bad without actually proving anything either way?

This is a very bad look for Starmer’s new New Labour.

We already have evidence that indicates around 2,000 people are leaving the party every week.

This may multiply that outward flood into a deluge.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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MPs from all parties say failure to release Russia report is ‘affront to democracy’

Bosom buddies: Boris Johnson with Russian industrialist Alexander Temerko.

If a week in politics is a long time, how would you describe eight months? An eternity?

That’s the length of time Boris Johnson has been sitting on the report into Russian interference in UK democracy.

He says it cannot be released because the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee has not been reconvened since it was dissolved for the December 2019 general election and has no members.

But this is a feeble excuse when one realises that the only reason for this is, Boris Johnson nominates everybody on this committee – and he hasn’t bothered to do so.

It is the only committee that Parliament has yet to appoint, and it is extremely unusual for a Parliament to fail to appoint it for six months – one-tenth of its term.

If Johnson wanted, this committee could meet on Monday and the report could be out on Tuesday (June 23).

He simply doesn’t want to – and now a cross-party group of MPs have slammed his inaction as an affront to democracy. They’re absolutely right:

MPs on Tuesday wrote to the UK prime minister to tell him it “is untenable for you to continue to block the publication of the Russia report,” adding that “the situation is an affront to democracy.”

The letter… tells Johnson “your refusal to allow publication of this crucial document raises serious concerns and questions about the transparency and integrity of our democratic process.”

Johnson faces fresh pressure to publish the report after the Electoral Commission last week published new data showing continued financial support for the Conservative party from the wife of a former minister in Vladimir Putin’s Russian government.

The letter to Johnson says this new information highlighted “the party’s deep connections to Russian oligarchs,” and “further questions as to why you are so reluctant to reconstitute the Intelligence and Security Committee.”

Source: Boris Johnson failure to release Russia report an affront to democracy – Business Insider

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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As Russia donates hugely to Tories, there’s still no sign of report on that country’s political interference in UK

Boris Johnson: he says he can’t publish the so-called ‘Russia report’ until a committee on intelligence and security reconvenes to approve it – but he’s responsible for nominating all its members and hasn’t done so. Why not?

Wow. These Tories are coining it very nicely, courtesy of these Russian donors, aren’t they?

Is it because Boris Johnson vetoed a report on Russian interference in UK politics so many months ago, and has been stubbornly refusing to allow its release ever since?

It has just been revealed that Lubov Chernukhin, who is married to former Russian finance minister Vladimir Chernukhin, donated £325,000 to the Conservative party in the first quarter of 2020, according to the latest Electoral Commission data.

In total, Chernukhin has donated £1.6 million to the party over the last five years, including £45,000 for a game of tennis with Johnson, according to the Daily Mail.

An Open Democracy investigation last year found that donations to the Conservative party from Russian business figures and their associates between November 2018 and 2019 came to £498,850 – a significant increase on the previous year, when donations amounted to less than £350,000.

Why are they handing over all this cash?

I mean, nobody dishes out huge amounts of money and expects nothing in return, do they?

Does it have anything to do with the fact that a report on Russian interference in UK politics has been due for publication since December 2019, but Boris Johnson has been suppressing it?

The report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, including information about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union, was finalised in November last year – but Johnson refused to allow it to be published before the December general election. That in itself is suspicious, isn’t it?

After the election, the new Conservative government approved the report’s release on December 13, 2019 – but it still hasn’t become available.

Want to know why?

Because the Intelligence and Security Committee was dissolved with the 2017-19 Parliament and is waiting to be re-convened.

It is now more than six months since the new Parliament began – one-tenth of its lifetime – and this important committee remains devoid of members and has not met.

Want to know why?

Because all members are nominated by the prime minister, who happens to be Boris Johnson – and he hasn’t done it.

We keep reminding him about it…

… but – no. Still nothing.

It’s as if he has something to hide…

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Starmer had £50K from pro-Israel lobbyist. Time for a ‘no confidence’ vote? [POLL]

Keir Starmer: he’s pictured practising the hallmark of his Labour leadership so far – inactivity.

Now we see why Keir Starmer was so cagey about donations to his Labour leadership campaign.

He has been taking cash from lobbyists dedicated to pushing the interests of the Israeli government, from opponents of Jeremy Corbyn and funders of the so-called Independent Group for Change (or whatever they ended up calling themselves) – the Labour splitters who were annihilated in the last general election.

In other words, it seems his funders are opponents of socialist, pro-Middle East peace Labour.

This casts a shadow over his handling of the leaked Labour document on factional interference in the party’s handling of anti-Semitism complaints.

With so many anti-Corbyn funders, and the report showing how anti-Corbyn sentiment informed the lack of exertion on anti-Semitism by the party’s Governance and Legal Unit, it is easy to reach an obvious conclusion about Starmer’s priorities.

This would be hasty. But it certainly seems clear that Starmer’s ainnocence needs to be established before he can continue as leader.

A responsible man would step back, (I think the word is) recuse himself and allow an independent investigation into the report and his donations, returning to office only if he is found innocent of any wrongdoing or corruption.

Trouble is, he hasn’t done that.

So my question is: is it too early for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in this non-leader’s leadership?

Source: Keir Starmer received £50,000 donation from pro-Israel lobbyist in leadership bid | The Canary

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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B&M is donating £1million to UK food banks to fight coronavirus-related supply gap

This is wonderful news and B&M has set an excellent example for other businesses to follow.

I hope they will.

Food banks have been struggling as members of the public quit funding and donating to them in order to panic-buy goods in anticipation of the coronavirus crisis.

Discount retailer B&M [has] announced a national £1 million donation to support UK food banks.

Each one of its 670 stores will support a local foodbank with a £1,500 donation of food, cleaning and personal hygiene goods to reach struggling families.

Source: B&M is donating £1million to UK food banks amid coronavirus crisis – Birmingham Live

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Is Greggs £300 staff bonus actually a donation to the Tory government?

Loadsamoney: Greggs is giving around £7 million to the government – indirectly, as the £300 per-employee bonus will be taken from their Universal Credit claims.

On the face of it, this looked like a pleasant display of solidarity with hard-working staff – but it seems they won’t actually be any better-off.

Bakery chain Gregg has announced a £300 bonus for thousands of staff members – their share of a £7 million total resulting from a “phenomenal year” for the company.

There’s just one problem: most of these people are on Universal Credit and any bonuses they receive will be subtracted from their benefit payments in the future.

That’s the word from Twitter user Ally Fogg, anyway. In a tweet that has, itself, proved phenomenally popular, this person stated [boldings mine]:

“Just asked my Greggs inside informant if everyone is chuffed about their ~£300 bonus?

“‘Not really. Most of us are on Universal Credit. We’ll get the bonus end of Jan & it will be taken out of our UC payments in March. They’ve basically just handed £7m back to the govt.'”

So we see that Universal Credit is a poverty trap.

The Tories have succeeded in keeping minimum wages lower than the minimum that people need – in reality – in order to pay all their bills.

This means people on minimum wages – like the majority of Greggs employees – must claim state benefits, and the state benefit at the moment is Universal Credit.

UC automatically adjusts the amount of benefit people receive according to any changes in their income – in real time. So a £300 bonus would wipe out a working claimant’s benefit payments for a period of time.

And the money would stay in the Treasury. The employees won’t see any extra cash at all.

Ally Fogg went on to lay no blame on Greggs:

“I’m not criticising Greggs. They’re trying to do the right thing. Problems are 1/ Service sector wages are so dismally low that the govt (or taxpayers) are effectively subsidising employers to enable them to pay starvation wages, and 2/ UC is a chaotic, counterproductive mess.”

But obviously something needs to change if companies really want to give their staff a boost. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Source: Greggs staff to get £300 bonus after ‘phenomenal year’ – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Riley troll tries scaremongering to stop you supporting CrowdJustice campaign

A desperate Twitter troll tried to claim people supporting my CrowdJustice campaign would be liable to pay any costs if I lose.

It was a desperate attempt to undermine the huge amount of public support I have received, with nearly £35,000 provided for the campaign.

As is now well-known, celebrity game-player Rachel Riley is taking This Writer to court, claiming that I libelled her over her ill-treatment of a teenage girl with mental health issues.

It seems she wanted to bully me into paying her thousands of pounds, by threatening me with a court action in which I could not possibly afford to defend myself.

So I launched a funding campaign with CrowdJustice, drawing a huge number of donations from more than 1,000 contributors.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, I have been subjected to a near-constant barrage of lies, insults and other vilification from supporters of Ms Riley – often the same people who have also falsely accused me of anti-Semitism in the past.

This one turned up after another Twitter user posted a list of fellow socialists – including Yr Obdt Srvt – calling for others to support us. He/she claimed that one of us was a Holocaust denier so I called it out as a troll:

Notice the lack of any evidence in support of the claims and the threat to report the original tweeter to the Labour Party – which has proved sadly supine in complying with the wishes of these hatemongers.

This one turned its focus on me, repeating false claims of anti-Semitism and claiming I was a misogynist – I have no idea if this anonymous person is male or female – before turning its attention to the Riley libel case.

Let us be clear about this: Nobody supporting my CrowdJustice campaign will have to pay any more than their initial donation, even in the remote possibility that I lose.

This is nothing but scaremongering, based on unproved speculation.

But now I have a question:

How do you feel about this attempt to manipulate you?

This is a person who has tried to mislead you and others like you who may otherwise want to support my CrowdJustice campaign, trying to help Ms Riley by making me unable to fund my defence.

I think that’s despicable, don’t you?

If you do, then please make your disgust count by contributing to the campaign. Libel cases are notoriously expensive and I need more funds if I’m to mount a successful defence.

You could email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

Money is no object to my opponents; they are trying to use their wealth to buy the result they want.

I think that is a deplorable abuse of the justice system.

I hope you do too.

Please come to the CrowdJustice page and help defeat them. It only takes a donation.

PS. Here’s some extra reassurance:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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This phase of Mike’s anti-libel crowdfunding ends soon. Donate now!

It seems my CrowdJustice site, that has been running for the last few months, is finally set to close.

With it ends the first phase of my campaign to raise cash to pay the legal eagles I need to beat the false claims against me – in or out of court.

The initial aim was to demonstrate to Rachel Riley, Tracy Ann Oberman and their solicitors that there was no truth in their claim that I had libelled them, and that there was no point in trying to take it to court.

This has fallen on deaf ears.

So the next phase will concentrate on ensuring we have enough cash to go into court and mount a defence that will convince a judge that my accusers don’t have a leg to stand on.

We have almost enough to pay for a preliminary hearing, which may take place in the autumn. I won’t know whether further hearings will take place until we get a ruling from the judge.

So please allow me to appeal, one last time, to your generosity. If you would like to help me win:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

Money isn’t an issue for my opponents. They are trying to use my lack of it to bully me into giving up – in effect, to buy justice.

I find that attitude utterly repulsive, and I hope you do too.

So please help, while there’s time.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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A nasty reminder of why I’m fighting a false libel claim

Beware of trolls: Many of the social media antagonists claiming to be fighting anti-Semitism may have an entirely different agenda. Help to discourage them by contributing to my libel defence fund.

This Writer’s fight against false libel claims by Rachel Riley isn’t just about her, but also about defending myself against her cronies who think that bullying young people  – and using vile language to intimidate anybody – is acceptable behaviour.

I’m referring to the kind of people who sent death threats to a teenage girl with anxiety issues, making her afraid to leave her house after Ms Riley referred to her in some very unwise tweets.

I was reminded of their ways earlier today, after the celebrity David Schneider tweeted concerns about a Labour Party member who had been outed as an anti-Semite by a member of an anonymous troll network closely associated with Ms Riley. I tweeted a warning that these people were not to be trusted and that, in my opinion, they were contributing to any increase in anti-Semitism by their behaviour.

Think about it: If you were subjected to a false accusation of anti-Semitism by someone, and then to bullying by that person’s followers, I think it would be enough to make you extremely unhappy with them. Add in the fact that they claim to be representing Jewish people, and it would be easy to let that… let’s call it disgruntlement… spill over to become a generalised unhappiness with that entire social group.

Fortunately, both I and the young lady involved have avoided that. But you can appreciate that others may not be as even-handed about it.

Inevitably, given the nature of the conversation, somebody had to take issue with me – so I gave my reasons for reacting as I had:

This led to a dialogue in which the following happened:

We may conclude that harrytaylor isn’t interested in anti-Semitism – he wants to attack Jeremy Corbyn – and Chris Williamson – with false accusations.

And I know I don’t have to explain to anybody here that (((Fightingb4ck)))’s tweet was entirely false (although the inclusion of the link to my CrowdJustice appeal was welcome and I hope people used it to donate).

The trouble is, it’s an attempt to harm me and my credibility with lies.

Another anonymous troll also leapt in, tweeting “I don’t know why you debate with that racist scumbag Sivier – racist c**** like him deserve just one kind of message. He is the most vile kind of BNP racist.”

I suppose it’s a relief that this person self-censored the ‘C’-word. If I were someone who didn’t have a website, they probably wouldn’t.

This is the treatment dealt out to people like myself and others who support justice based on fact: evidence-free abuse.

I wonder if Ms Riley is proud of her supporters?

It all reminds me of the reasons I must fight her – and their – false claims. But I still need help to do it so I’m taking this opportunity to renew my appeal.

If you are willing to help me defeat the liars, you are invited to do one, some, or all of the following:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

It seems clear to me that these people aren’t fighting against anti-Semitism; they’re simply trying to upset people who support the current Labour leadership for political reasons of their own.

A court win might give them reason to reconsider their behaviour – but I can’t make that happen without your help.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook