Britain’s senior minister said it was “totally nonsense” to suggest that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pressured security services to change the aptitude of Russian businessmen for the House of Lords seats. rice field.
British and Russian media mogul Evgeny Lebedev, whose father worked on behalf of the KGB, became a lifelong member of the Senate in July 2020.
According to The Sunday Times, MI5 and MI6 security agencies initially said that granting Peerage to Lebedev could pose a national security threat, but after the Prime Minister’s personal intervention, Later withdrew the rating.
During the Prime Minister’s question at the House of Commons on Wednesday, Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner repeatedly pressured Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab on the appointment of Lebedev.
She asked if Raab could guarantee that Johnson “never asked anyone to urge security services to modify, rethink, or withdraw their ratings.”
Raab said Reiner’s proposal was “totally nonsense.”
“Every individual nominated for Peerage is aware of what their contribution to society is,” he said.
“This includes people from Russia who are making a great contribution to our country, many of which are critics of the Putin administration,” he added.
In response to Raab’s remarks, Johnson’s estranged former aide Dominic Cummings said the deputy prime minister may have inadvertently misunderstood the House of Commons.
Cummings wrote on his website that what Raab said was “wrong.”
“When a Cabinet Office official told PM that intelligence agencies and some other deep nations were making serious reservations about PM’s plans, I was in the room, so it was wrong. I know, “writing Cummings.
Lebedev, who owns the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers, previously stated in a statement on the Evening Standard website:
“My dad was a KGB foreign intelligence agency long ago, but I’m not a Russian agent.”
After Russia invaded Ukraine, Lebedev urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the invasion through the Evening Standard.
PA Media contributed to this report.