Tag Archives: Party

Kwarteng’s speech: all excuses – no substance

Having sat through Kwasi Kwarteng’s speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer, I tend to agree with Professor Tim Wilson.

It was all excuses; there was no substance – no new policies, nothing to announce at all.

And the delivery was shocking.

Here’s the quick summary:

And now here’s the long-seeming speech itself:

One point I would add: “Getting Britain Moving” is a terrible slogan for a party – and a Chancellor – that has endangered the ownership of millions of homes across the country by his own economic incompetence.

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New three-point independence referendum plan for Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon: she’s going all-out for Scottish independence – and who can blame her, when Boris Johnson has made such a mess of the United Kingdom?

It seems the Scottish National Party is planning to race Northern Ireland’s Sinn Fein to be the first to gain independence from Boris Johnson’s UK.

The new majority party in NI has a plan to secede from the Union within the next five years, but the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon has proposed October 19, 2023 as the date for a referendum on Scottish independence.

Her party has published a Referendum Bill, to be debated by the Scottish Parliament – but this will not happen until the UK’s Supreme Court has ruled on whether the Scottish government has the power to hold a vote without UK government approval.

She has requested this approval, writing to Boris Johnson to request formal consent for the vote to be held. He has said the UK government will consider it, but its position that “now is not the time” for another referendum has not changed.

Sturgeon’s aim is to avoid legal challenges to her Referendum Bill when it comes to be debated in the Scottish Parliament; Supreme Court backing will make that possible.

So the plan is that – in the belief that Johnson’s government will refuse to back her request – it will still receive validation that it is lawful and constitutional from the Supreme Court and the Referendum Bill will be passed by the Scottish Parliament.

There is a back-up plan, which is for the SNP to fight the next UK-wide general election on a single issue: “should Scotland be an independent country?”

It is only eight years since the last referendum on Scottish independence, so one can understand why the UK government in Westminster is reluctant to tolerate another one.

In 2014, around 45 per cent of voters supported independence, with 55 per cent against. Current polling shows little change, with 48 per cent in favour and 52 per cent against.

This makes a new referendum a big gamble for the SNP. It may annoy voters into believing that the party is too focused on a single aim, to the detriment of a nation – the UK – that is trying to pick itself back up after the double-blow of Brexit and Covid-19.

Alternatively, the same phenomena may be the reasons for people to support the plan – as the current version of Brexit was Johnson’s brainchild and has been a disaster, while his policies on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic have been similarly ham-handed, resulting in many thousands more deaths than should have happened.

In any event, the Supreme Court may simply rule against the referendum, forcing Sturgeon’s party into its fall-back plan – but what if Johnson calls a general election early in order to wrong-foot her?

Meanwhile, across the Irish Sea, Sinn Fein’s leaders have a plan to get Northern Ireland out of the union at some point over the next five years – if they can get Unionist parties to stop throwing their toys out of the pram over their election loss and allow the Assembly at Stormont to sit again.

They will be watching what happens in Scotland very carefully, no doubt.

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Sue Gray report in depth: how many times was Boris Johnson drunk in charge of a nation?

Boozy Johnson: it seems he spent most of the Covid-19 crisis drunk, along with many of the staff at Downing Street – and the Met Police, together with Sue Gray, have been trying to cover-up his wrongdoing.

Isn’t it a shame that Sue Gray’s report into the drunken party culture that prevailed at Downing Street from early 2020 until late 2021 (at least) is so uneven.

Parts of it are thoroughly researched, but other parts – especially, it seems, where Boris Johnson is concerned, are amateurish.

Consider the report’s entry about a gathering in the Downing Street flat on the evening of November 13, 2020.

Ms Gray states that after the announcement that Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain were leaving, a meeting was held in the Number 10 flat to discuss the handling of their departure.

It started at 6pm, involving five special advisors, and Johnson himself turned up at 8pm. Food and alcohol were available and the “discussion” continued into the evening with people leaving at various points.

This was not a works gathering – it was a party.

If it had been a works gathering, then it would have taken place in an office – not the flat. Alcohol would certainly not have been available – have you ever been to a work meeting where booze was being served up to all and sundry? I haven’t! People attend work events to work – not to drink. And everybody would have stayed until the meeting was closed by its chair, if it were a works gathering.

Johnson was getting drunk with his mates in his flat and they simply pretended it was a works gathering to diddle the rules, or so it seems to me. Doesn’t it look that way to you?

Ms Gray’s report states she had to halt her investigation because the police inquiry began, and did not re-start it when the Met had finished their dog’s dinner of a probe because she did not think it was “appropriate or proportionate” to do so.

Is this because she feared that she would expose her boss’s lawbreaking further than it already has been?

I’ve looked in detail at just three events so far. All were parties, and Boris Johnson participated fully in all of them. At those times, he was drunk in charge of the nation – and these were times when the nation needed a sober hand at the helm.

It was a flagrant abuse of power that both the Met Police and Ms Gray seem to have been doing their utmost to cover up. Shame on them – and shame on all of us if we allow them to get away with it.

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Sue Gray: Boris Johnson definitely attended November 13, 2020 party. He lied. He must go

‘All the lawbreaking happened after I left’, says Johnson. Look at him, participating fully in Lee Cain’s leaving party in Downing Street. He actually gave a speech, while drinking alcohol at this social event in flagrant breach of lockdown laws that were then in force. Now he’s lying about it AGAIN. He treated you with utter contempt. He MUST be flushed out of Parliament like the excrement he is.

Clearly Sue Gray disagrees with the Metropolitan Police about Boris Johnson’s participation in Lee Cain’s leaving party on November 13, 2020.

Images of Johnson at the party were published by ITV News on Monday (May 23) and you can read This Writer’s article about it here.

In her report, Ms Gray states: “There was a leaving speech and drinks in No 10 for Lee Cain later that day, which the Prime Minister attended.

“A number of press office staff and media special advisers gathered in the Press Office area of No 10 to mark the departure of Lee Cain, the No 10 Director of Communications.

“The investigation was informed that this was not pre-planned. It did occur at around the time that ‘Wine Time Friday’ would normally be taking place.

“The Prime Minister attended on his way to his Downing Street flat, having left his office at 19.17. He went to the Press Office area, joined the gathering and made a leaving speech for Lee Cain.

“Wine had been provided and those attending, including the Prime Minister, were drinking alcohol. There are a number of photographs of the event.”

He joined the gathering and those attending, including the prime minister, were drinking alcohol.

Clearly it was a social gathering – a party. Clearly Johnson was there. Clearly he participated fully, including imbibing alcohol.

This belies his own claim to fellow MPs in the House of Commons. As I stated yesterday: “Questioned in Parliament on whether a party had taken place on that date, Johnson said, ‘No but I’m sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed, and the rules were followed at all times.'”

As I write this, Johnson is telling his fellow MPs, once again, a load of nonsense that any wrongdoing happened after he had left. This is clearly untrue as the pictorial evidence shows.

He did attend these events and participated in them fully. He did lie to Parliament about it.

This corrupt crook should resign. But we can see from his behaviour today that he absolutely will not.

It is up to his fellow Parliamentarians – the MPs that he deliberately and corruptly deceived – to force him out before he drags the UK’s Parliament into any more disgrace.

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Damning: Johnson lied to Parliament about party attendance and police failed to fine him

How will the Met Police justify this? Boris Johnson is pictured toasting departing Downing Street comms chief Lee Cain at a leaving party on November 13, 2020, that the prime minister told Parliament he never attended.

Days after police decided not to fine Boris Johnson again for attending illegal Downing Street parties, we see that it is all a lie.

Johnson did attend at least one party beyond the birthday event in 2020 for which he was fined.

It was during a time of full lockdown in England – November 13, 2020 – when only two people from different households were allowed to mix indoors.

Questioned in Parliament on whether a party had taken place on that date, Johnson said, “No but I’m sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed, and the rules were followed at all times.”

But images published by ITV News show at least eight people in a Downing Street room, meaning at least nine were there including the photographer. They were from many different households.

We can clearly see a table covered with bottles of substances including Champagne or Cava, wine and gin, and party cups – one of which is being hefted by Johnson as he gives what is clearly a party speech.

Excuses that this was a “works do” won’t wash, because a “works do” is still a party – and in any case, one person who attended this event to mark the departure of comms chief Lee Cain was fined for it.

Claims that Johnson was “just passing through” because his red box is visible, discarded nearby, are unconvincing because we have already heard that Johnson pays very little attention to the contents of his red boxes, which have been seen unattended outside his Downing Street flat (a blatant security risk) while the prime minister himself receives briefings on their contents via WhatsApp.

Perhaps that particular box was actually in the possession of one of the other people at the party, who had either already written a briefing for their lazy party-boy boss or was going to do it later.

So Johnson quite clearly and categorically lied to Parliament about his attendance at this party. Why haven’t the police fined him, then?

This Site has already discussed suggestions from a solicitor that Met officers may have been influenced by deference for Johnson’s position as prime minister, in contradiction of the requirement that everybody must be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

The same expert also suggested that Johnson had been able to afford to get “lawyered up” with expensive representatives whose services were beyond the means of the lower-paid civil servants who could not evade fixed penalty notices – another indication of preferential treatment.

So Metropolitan Police investigators have serious questions to answer.

The Met has “declined to explain” why Johnson was not fined for attending a party when somebody else was – indicating a guilty conscience, perhaps?

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has already been urged to investigate – by the Liberal Democrats (presumably Labour leader Keir Starmer has been asleep at the wheel again).

But the request is unlikely to be honoured because the IOPC usually investigates only the most serious cases, such as those involving a death or serious injury following contact with the police, and complaints can only be made by someone who has directly witnessed an incident or is directly affected by it.

Nevertheless, it seems the police will be forced to explain themselves as legal action is being initiated by others including the Good Law Project.

This Writer wonders if Sue Gray is frantically re-writing her report, that is due to be released to the public tomorrow (May 25), according to some sources.

Our predominantly right-wing media are telling us that Johnson is in no danger of being removed by his own Conservative MPs.

It seems they are hoping that public outrage at this flagrant abuse of his government’s own rules by the prime minister who announced them to the public will have peaked.

But, being Tories, they probably aren’t counting the human cost of Covid-19 and the effect this has had. Johnson was partying with his colleagues at a time when people were dying alone because he had ordered that their relatives and friends were not allowed to be with them at the end.

That causes the kind of pain that doesn’t go away when it is politically expedient.

And of course this is new evidence for the Commons Privileges Committee, that will investigate whether Johnson lied to Parliament about attending parties.

If he did, then the rules will demand his resignation. And this evidence shows – in no uncertain terms – that he did lie.

If he had any integrity at all he would resign now and save us all the annoyance of waiting for it. But his past behaviour tells us that he doesn’t, so he won’t.

Photographs cast doubt on Boris Johnson’s claims he was unaware of rule-breaking. | ITV National News

Source: Exclusive: Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured drinking at Downing Street party during lockdown | ITV News

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Why is the Foreign Office buying £20m New York townhouse to subsidise art dealer’s court case?

Liz Truss: she’s not a serious politician. Look at that vapid grin and you’ll understand exactly why she’s spaffing away public money like it was newly-ensewaged water.

While the rest of us face a cost-of-living crisis, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is apparently planning to spend £20 million buying a luxury New York townhouse so the UK’s UN representative can have big parties.

Not only that, but the money would be paid to an art dealer who is currently facing trial for a £500 million tax fraud in France.

Should the UK’s government really be subsidising a possible fraudster’s court representation? And does the UK’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations really need a massively expensive building, just so she can host lavish parties?

The memo on the proposed Manhattan purchase argues that ‘the Sutton Square townhouse would provide a high-quality entertainment space close to the UK mission to the UN [and] comfortable accommodation for VIPs’.

The 9,600 sq ft Manhattan townhouse, which has views over the East River, would be used mainly by Dame Barbara Janet Woodward, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Described by the property agents as ‘a grand and iconic residence for the new gilded age’, Dame Barbara… would enjoy the use of a huge kitchen, sauna-like showers, parquet de Versailles wood floors and a filigreed spiral staircase.

The documents leaked to The Mail on Sunday make the argument that despite already owning three residences in New York, in addition to the embassy and ambassador’s house in Washington, the new property is required to help the UK to pursue ‘soft power’ diplomacy through drinks and canapes.

These things are not good for the UK’s diplomats. Apparently there was a huge row when it was revealed in 2020 that Antonia Romeo, now Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, had been investigated over allegations that she had ‘terrorised’ staff who criticised her extravagant lifestyle and reportedly lavish spending when she was Britain’s Consul General in New York.

But the good news is that, as the building is in a “highly desirable” area of New York, it will likely hold or increase its value in the long term. So it’s a good investment. But how will the people of the UK benefit from this extravagant spending.

Ultimate authority over the deal will lie with airheaded Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who doesn’t seem to understand that spaffing our money – yours and mine, not hers – on things that aren’t vital for the nation is offensive to the people of the UK.

She’s also clueless about the new policy of cutting the number of civil servants in the Foreign Office by 900.

Apparently she’s happy to throw away “people whose skills we no longer need” (charming!) but then wants to take on enough new personnel to create a net increase of 1,000.

It would be okay if we knew that more than 1,000 jobs will be going to people who really need them – but you know Truss is just going to dish them out to more Tory cronies. I await proof that my assertion is false.

It seems clear that, not only is Truss a danger to the safety of the UK, with her sabre-rattling comments about Russia – but she can’t be trusted with money either.

Source: Liz Truss faces row over purchase of £20m New York ‘partyhouse’

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50 more fines for Downing Street partying reveal the scale of the lawbreaking

Christmas party: the fines announced today were for an event Boris Johnson was said not to have attended. Here’s an image of him from one he did.

The Metropolitan Police have fined 50 Downing Street employees for taking part in an illegal Christmas party there in 2020.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is not among those being fined this time, as it is understood he did not attend – but the new fines illustrate the scale of lawbreaking in Whitehall while the rest of us were being forced to observe strict social distancing rules that kept us from our loved ones while they were dying – and afterwards.

It is now clear that staff at Downing Street and Whitehall enjoyed a culture of lawbreaking that lasted for months on end – possibly more than a year – under the noses of Boris Johnson and his senior government ministers.

Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have already been served with fines, and with the prime minister believed to have attended at least three of the 12 gatherings under Met Police investigation. Also fined was Johnson’s wife Carrie, who had no reason to be anywhere near Downing Street employees under any circumstances at the time.

The announcement of the new fines must be like a noose tightening around Johnson’s throat; the police investigation is not close to being over – and a second, more detailed report from Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray, set to follow once the last fine has been served, threatens to be more damning than all of the penalty notices put together.

Johnson says he will have “plenty to say” about the scale of the lawbreaking “when the thing’s finished”.

But why won’t he say anything about it now?

He knows what happened and whether he took part in it.

But he has refused to provide any information himself, leaving it to investigators to discover the damning evidence – such as that which led to his first fine. If you are a UK citizen, your prime minister is a criminal.

And the decision to force others to drag out the incriminating information simply makes him look worse. We know he is a habitual liar so his determination to hide the facts should be no surprise – but if he is found to have lied to Parliament, he will have broken the Ministerial Code, and the refusal to apologise for doing so, plus the failure to admit his crimes, will make any such offence worse.

So it seems to This Writer that, at the end of the day, Boris Johnson won’t need to say “plenty”. His only option will be summed up in two words: “I resign.”

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The elephant in the room: why are the Tories trying to sideline Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland: most people here aren’t bothered about the protocol that puts a trade border between the Province and the rest of the UK. Are the Tories entertaining the DUP’s block to the restoration of the Stormont assembly because it aligns with their own differences with the European Union?

Isn’t it strange that the Queen’s Speech made no mention of the Northern Ireland Protocol that is currently the greatest threat to peace in the United Kingdom?

Prince Charles, standing in for Her Majesty, announced no fewer than 38 planned new laws – and not one of them explained how Boris Johnson’s government plans to tackle the constitutional crisis that has flared up in the Province.

I think it’s because Johnson doesn’t know what to do. He has painted himself into this corner with his silly rushed Brexit and now he can’t get out of it.

For those who don’t know: the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit agreement keeps open the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland by creating a hard trade border between the Province and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Last week’s local elections returned a majority of members to the Stormont assembly who approve of that agreement – but Stormont is run on a power-sharing basis, and the second-largest party, the Democratic Unionist Party, is refusing to nominate any of its members to the new administration until a deal is struck that dismantles the border with the rest of the UK.

Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Fein, who is set to be the new First Minister, has said it is the responsibility of Boris Johnson and his government to resolve the problems over the protocol – by negotiation with the European Union. This has created something of a domino effect.

The EU itself has acknowledged that the Protocol has created difficulties – and offered proposals last October to ease the burden of checks and paperwork.

The EU said it would mean inspections of food products would be reduced far below what is usually required at single-market borders, but the plan came with caveats and the UK said the EU needed to do more.

Now, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan has said the UK may decide to scrap the protocol altogether – and a source close to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she was considering legislation to scrap parts of the Brexit treaty unilaterally – without seeking agreement from the EU.

In turn, the EU’s chief negotiator, Maroš Šefčovič, has said that the EU had already “shown a lot of flexibility by proposing impactful, durable solutions and we stand ready to continue discussions. We need the UK government to dial down the rhetoric, be honest about the deal they signed and agree to find solutions within its framework”.

This has been interpreted as a threat of a possible trade war if Truss goes ahead and trashes the protocol.

It’s a big mess – of Boris Johnson’s making. But some have suggested that the only people with whom the UK government should be negotiating are the DUP.

The majority of people in Northern Ireland support the protocol as it stands – or at least, they have voted a majority of representatives into Stormont who support it – and some say this means the DUP should accept it as it is, and not use it to disrupt the power-sharing agreement that helps to maintain the fragile peace the Province has enjoyed since 1998.

It seems only six per cent of the NI electorate see the protocol as a major issue, which suggests that the problem lies only with the DUP.

This Site has previously mentioned rumours that the DUP is only using the protocol as a means of ensuring that the unionist party will not take a position subordinate to nationalists – even though the titles of First Minister and Deputy First Minister are practically meaningless; power is shared between the two major parties.

The possible consequences for Northern Ireland could be catastrophic. But surely, nobody wants a return to the situation before the Good Friday Agreement, do they?

So perhaps NI Secretary Brandon Lewis simply needs to take a robust stance and present it to the DUP. Or are the Tories entertaining the DUP’s rebellion because it suits them to?

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Test for democracy in Northern Ireland as Sinn Fein set to win most assembly seats

Northern Ireland will have a nationalist leader for the first time in its more-than-100-year history after last week’s local elections. But will the unionists accept it?

Ever since the power sharing agreement was set up that made the NI Assembly in Stormont possible, the leadership has been held by a Democratic Unionist Party representative.

In practise, the post is interchangeable with that of the deputy leader, but the role is also symbolic – and the unionists may decide they don’t like the symbol they’ll be asked to support.

This Writer has previously heard rumbles that suggest the unionists would abandon the power-sharing agreements if they can’t be the leaders; that would have serious consequences for the representation of democracy. How can an elected assembly be democratic if only one party can be allowed to take the leadership?

It seems those rumours are not set to become reality quite yet. But the unionists are demanding changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol that prevents a hard border between NI and the Republic of Ireland by keeping Northern Ireland inside the European Union’s (EU) single market for goods. It also creates a new trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The demand isn’t unreasonable; there should not be a hard trade border between one part of the United Kingdom and the others.

But it is a part of the agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland in 1998 that there should be no hard border between it and the Republic.

And the UK’s departure from the European Union means that a border where goods and people passing through are checked has to be placed somewhere, because the Republic is a member of that bloc.

It’s a problem that can’t be solved, it seems. Certainly the UK’s Tory government seems to have no intention of trying, with promoted-past-his-pay-grade Northern Ireland Secretary Damian Lewis hinting that there will be no plan to introduce new legislation on the protocol in the Queen’s Speech next week.

There may be leeway for discussion; new assembly members have until the end of 2024 to vote on whether to continue with the parts of the protocol that create an internal trade border within the UK.

One aspect of the change to a majority nationalist assembly that is unlikely to cause trouble – at least for now – is Sinn Fein’s aspiration to unite the Province with the Republic once again.

The law rules that the UK’s Northern Ireland Secretary may only agree to hold a referendum on reunification if it seems a majority of people in the Province are likely to support that change – and that hasn’t happened yet.

The most recent opinion poll, published in April, puts support at around 33 per cent.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald has said planning for a unity referendum – also known as a border poll – would come within a five-year framework.

So it seems that, even if a way can be found to resolve problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol, arguments are likely to break out over reunification.

It seems clear that Northern Ireland’s history will continue to be difficult for some time to come.

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How is foreign access to MPs the NEXT big scandal when they’ve had Boris Johnson for years?

Bosom buddies: Boris Johnson with Russian industrialist Alexander Temerko, who allegedly has very close links with the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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:

Political influence: Christine Lee has been donating money to the Conservatives for many years, and has been seen with David Cameron (pictured), Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

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?

Meanwhile:

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.