Margaret Hodge airs concerns about donations to Tories from Russian oligarchs
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Margaret Hodge airs concerns about donations to Tories from Russian oligarchs

Former chair of the Public Accounts Committee asked if it was 'right' for millions to be given to the Conservatives by donors such as Lubov Chernukhin and Viktor Fedotov

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Dame Margaret Hodge.
Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Dame Margaret Hodge. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge has raised concerns over donations from Russian oligarchs to the Conservative Party and some ministers, during an emergency Commons debate on standards.

Speaking during Monday’s debate on the fall-out from the botched attempt to save former Tory MP Owen Paterson’s career, the Jewish Labour Movement’s parliamentary chair suggested “another aspect that has created great anger and concern in our communities is the funding of political parties.”

Hodge then continued: “Let us look particularly at the Russians and how they are funding the Conservative party.

“Lubov Chernukhin has given £2.1 million, Alexander Temerko—a part-owner of a company that is trying to build an underwater cable—has given £1.3 million and Viktor Fedotov, who also owns that company, has given money to the Chancellor, the right hon. Member for Reading West (Alok Sharma), the Minister for corporate social responsibility, the Secretary of State for International Trade and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.”

The 77 year-old political veteran then ended her point by asking: “Is this right?”

The SNP MP Pete Wishart, who had allowed Hodge to intervene as he spoke to the Commons, branded her comments on Russian funding as “spot on.”

He added: “The way that donations have been going into the Tory party needs to be properly investigated.”

Hodge – who led the fight against Jeremy Corbyn’s failure on antisemitism – has been at the centre of the pushing claims of “sleaze” around the ruling Conservatives and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In April she urged the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone, to investigate whether Johnson breached the MP’s code of conduct over alleged donations linked to the flat renovation.

In a letter, Hodge called for Stone to probe funding of the refurbishment and explore whether Johnson declared any possible donations in the correct manner.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street, London.

“Boris Johnson’s complete disregard for the rules cannot go unchecked. Any cronyism, sleaze or rule-breaking on his part must be fully investigated,” Hodge tweeted.

Hodge, a former chair of the Public Accounts Committee,  expressed concern that the UK is not offering sufficient support to dissident Alexei Navalny who is back in prison following his return to Russia from exile in Germany.

Jewish News has approached the Tory Party for comment over donations from wealthy Russians to the party and to ministers.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments