Revealed: The oligarchs who fund the Tory project

From Morning Star: The Tories have “serious questions to answer” over lavish donations to the party by the wife of a former Putin associate, say Labour.

The Conservatives received £4.7 million in donations in the first three months of 2018, more than three times the £1.49m pulled in by Labour between January 1 and March 31, data from the Electoral Commission has revealed.

But £100,000 of the Tories’ total came from Lubov Chernukhin, whose husband Vladimir was Russia’s deputy finance minister during Vladimir Putin’s first term as president, before settling in London in 2006.

Ms Chernukhin has now donated over £620,000 to the Tories since June 2012, including a payment of £160,000 in July 2014 to play tennis with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and £30,000 this February to have dinner with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

She also tried to donate £10,000 to the party in April 2012, but was deemed an “impermissible donor” by the Electoral Commission.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister John Trickett called on Theresa May to “explain what checks have taken place, and why her party has accepted money from individuals with links to Putin’s regime, despite her promises.”