Theresa May Faces Calls To Return Million Dollars Of Russian Donations
Theresa May is under pressure to return millions of dollars given by Russian oligarchs and their lobbyists to the Tories.

Since she became British Prime Minister 18 months ago, Russian oligarchs and their associates have registered donations of more than £820,000 to her ruling Conservative Party.

Sunday Times newspaper revealed that although Mrs May promised that her party would “sup with a long spoon” and distance themselves from Russian donors, but electoral commission records analyzed by the newspaper show Russian-linked donations still continue.

Donations have also been given to the Tories by British lobbyists and PR firms working for Russian oligarchs and even the Kremlin since the summer of 2016.

The paper also revealed one of the most controversial donors paid the Conservatives more in a year under Mrs May than in six years under David Cameron.

At least £253,950 came from Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former Moscow minister and a previous donor in September, while businessman Alexander Temerko, a former senior figure in Russia’s defence industry has handed the party £148,000 since 2016.

Read More: Tories Accept £30,000 From The Wife Of Putin’s Former Crony To Dine With Gavin Williamson

The party has also received more than £3m from Russian-linked tycoons and lobbyists for Moscow since their return to government in 2010.

Mrs May is under pressure to return the cash over the attempted nerve-agent murder of the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last Sunday.

Marina Litvinenko, the widow of murdered Alexander Litvinenko called for the return of the Russian cash linked to Putin’s regime, saying: “You need to be very careful who you are friends with.”

The former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko died in London in 2006 after being given radioactive polonium.

“These donations are not just from the heart and for charitable reasons. They are all calculated,” the widow told The Sunday Times.

She noted that the Conservative Party should put Britain’s national security interests “first”.

However, the Chancellor Philip Hammond has refused the plea, saying: “This is a very serious investigation that is going on, let’s see where it leads us.”

Tories won't return Russian donations despite plea from murdered agent's widow

Ms Litvinenko also told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the PM had broken her pledge, in a personal letter she brandished, to do everything to prevent a repeat of her husband’s murder.

Shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffith, said: “These revelations call into question how seriously Theresa May will be willing to challenge Russia’s conduct when her party is literally being bankrolled by some close allies of the Kremlin.”

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