British PM, Theresa May accepted over £200,000 in donations from ex-Russian defence chief -Report
Mrs May promised to distance herself from Moscow-linked donors when she took office.
But in the 23 months since then her party has 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, the latest from Mirror, a British online news website investigation into Russia and the Tories, was branded “staggering” by MPs.
Mrs May will on Tuesday face pressure to return the cash in the wake of the attempted poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
Before now, it was established that the PM’s party, the Conservative 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.
Mr Temerko, 52, donated £16,300 to the Tories on July 13, 2016, the day Mrs May was officially appointed Prime Minister by the Queen.
Documents show that just 24 hours later he gave £3,750.
And his 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.
Mr Temerko, 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 Mr Temerko because of his opposition to the regime there, adding that all donations were “transparently declared”.