Theresa May Accepted £3,000 In Donations From Ex-Russian Defence Chief A Fortnight After Salisbury Attack
The UK Prime Minister has accepted more than £200,000 in donations from a former Russian defence chief since becoming PM.

While Theresa May promised to distance herself from Moscow-linked donors when she took office, in the 23 months since then, the Tories have pocketed £201,000 from Alexander Temerko, an ex-chairman of an agency in the Russian Defence Ministry who later ran an arms company.

The revelation by the Mirror has been the latest from investigation into Russia and the Tories, branded “staggering” by MPs.

The PM will face pressure to return the cash in the wake of the attempted poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

Previously, the Tories took £50,000 from the wife of the ex-Russian deputy finance minister and two Tory peers are earning thousands a year from firms with Kremlin links.

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On July 13, 2016, the day May was officially appointed Prime Minister by the Queen, Temerko donated £16,300 to the Conservative party and documents show that just 24 hours later he gave £3,750.

Temerko’s most recent donation of £3,000 last March 22 came just a fortnight after the Skripal murder bid.

The donation was uncovered after a Mirror analysis of a cache of data published by the Electoral Commission.

Temerko, 52, who was born in Ukraine when it was part of the USSR, is now a London-based businessman and British citizen.

He insisted to the Mirror he has been a “vocal critic” of President Vladimir Putin.

However, he did not deny previously working for the Russian defence ministry or heading up Russkoe Oruzhie, a firm that produced weapons for Russian military forces.

All the donations were legal and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing.

But MP Jon Trickett, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister, said: “Serious ­questions must be answered about why the Prime Minister thinks it is ­appropriate to accept this money.”

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable accused the Tories of having a “deep reliance on Russian roubles”.

And the SNP called on the Tories to “clean up their act”.

A Tory spokesman pointed out a UK judge had blocked a Russian attempt to extradite Temerko because of his opposition to the regime there, adding that all donations were “transparently declared”.

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