The Tories have accepted £280,000 from Russia-linked donors in the year since the publication of the Russia Report, according to a new analysis.
And around £2 million in Russian-related money has been given to the Tories since Boris Johnson became prime minister, The Mirror has reported.
The Intelligence and Security Committee’s findings from last year suggested the government failed to tackle Russian interference in UK democracy, and none of the report’s 21 recommendations have been implemented.
The report highlighted the fact that Russia tried to influence voters in the 2016 EU referendum and that the government failed to look into the problem. It also revealed an influx of Russian cash into the UK, and that the money was used across UK “PR firms, charities, political interests, academia and cultural institutions”.
“Russian influence in the UK is ‘the new normal’, and there are a lot of Russians with very close links to Putin who are well integrated into the UK business and social scene, and accepted because of their wealth,” the report added.
It noted several people in the Russian elite, including individuals with links to Putin, have donated to UK political parties, but failed to specify which parties received the money.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of the donors. They are now all British citizens who are legally entitled to donate to British political parties.
A Conservative Party spokesperson told The Mirror: “The Conservative Party does not accept foreign donations – as they are illegal.
“There are people in this country of Russian origin who are British citizens and have the democratic right to donate to a political party.
“Donations to the Conservative party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with the law.”
The government’s official response to last year’s review said: “The Government has long recognised there is an enduring and significant threat posed by Russia to the UK and its allies, including conventional military capabilities, disinformation, illicit finance, influence operations, and cyber-attacks.
“As such, Russia remains a top national security priority for the Government.”
Last month, it emerged a cross-party group of MPs and peers would ask the High Court to give the go-ahead for a legal challenge against the government over its alleged failure to investigate possible Russian interference in UK elections.
It comes as last year’s report found Russia may have tried to influence British voters “as early as 2014”, when a referendum on Scottish independence was held.
The case is believed to be the first time that sitting MPs or peers have taken legal action against the government on the grounds of national security.
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