This week Chris Cash, a Conservative Party researcher, was arrested as a Chinese spy. He worked closely with Tom Tugendhat, Minister of State for Security.
MI5 also revealed that they had warned the Conservative Party that 2 of their potential candidates for the next General Election were also working for Chinese security intelligence services.
Once again we have a major security breach at the top of Government.
This is the second time I have written about major security breaches by successive Governments. For those who missed part 1 of this story here is a recap of the last 13 years:
- George Osborne was revealed to have a relationship with Oleg Deripska, now under sanction because of his links to Putin
- Pauline Neville Jones had to stand down as National Security Minister, after MI5 raised concerns about her financial relationship with oligarchs Dimitry Firtash and Russian tycoon Mikhail Chernoy.
- Andy Coulson was appointed to Cameron’s top team, without proper vetting, and was subsequently jailed
- Michael Gove lost a court case against the Financial Time over the use of private email addresses for Government business
- Grant Shapps was revealed to have multiple identities in on line marketing scams
- Liam Fox resigned after he was found to have brought a chum with no security clearance to work with him at the MOD
- David Cameron and Boris Johnson were paid to £160,000 to play tennis with Russian oligarchs despite Russia’s involvement in the shooting down of a Malaysian plane over Ukraine.
- The leave campaign was heavily compromised by Russian intelligence, it was Alexander Temerko, oligarch and Tory donor who persuaded Boris to back Brexit. The extent of the Leave.EU campaigns relationship with Russia is still subject to litigation
- Johnson lost his minders so he could party with the Lebvedev family of Russian oligarchs. Lebvedev senior was ex-KGB, Lebvedev junior owns UK newspapers and was made a member of the House of Lords as Lord Lebvedev of Siberia.
- The Tories are also under investigation over a donation of £500k from Ehud Sheleg, which was traced back to the Kremlin
- Boris’s phone was hacked by Russian intelligence
- Boris Johnson raised £2m from Russian sources during his reign as PM. Conservative Party Chairman Ben Elliot who oversaw this influx of funds had his own business deals in Russia, including in occupied Crimea.
- Liz Truss’ phone was hacked during her campaign to the leader of the Tory Party PM
- Gavin Williamson twice leaked confidential defence secrets in his spell as Defence Secretary.
- Suella Braverman resigned after unspeficied highly senstive data breaches as Home Secretary but was reinstated a week later
Since all of that has happened we have found out;
Scandal-hit MP David Warburton took undeclared £150K loan from Russian boss of finance firm that collapsed after probe into its ‘dishonest’ dealings with grandson of ex-Kazakh president – before his relative landed £75,000 advisory role with the business
Minister Damian Green was sacked following allegations re porn on his parliamentary PC He’s now been recruited to oversee the Online Safety Bill To replace Julian Knight who recused himself while police investigate allegations of sexual assault.
Sergei Cristo, a Conservative party activist and a former journalist with the BBC World Service, has lodged a complaint with the investigatory powers tribunal, filing the case after corresponding with the chair of parliament’s intelligence and security committee, Conservative MP Julian Lewis, who recommended he take the information to the authorities. MI5 repeatedly refused to investigate evidence that an alleged Russian spy was attempting to cultivate influence with senior Conservative politicians and channel illegal Russian funds into the party.
The Treasury gave special permission to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of the Wagner Group, to access funds held in the UK so he could use a libel action to try and silence the Bellingcat group of investigative journalists.
We also found out that in 2020 Boris Johnson was so short of money he borrowed £800,000. The person who brokered the loan, Richard Sharp was rewarded by being appointed as Chairman of the BBC, a job from which he resigned in scandal after an investigation into irregularities in the appointments process. The security implications of a Prime Minister who is financially vulnerable and taken loans from foreign nationals don’t really need spelling out further
Boris, of course, resigned as an MP after a Privileges Committee found that he had lied to the House of Commons, adding to a list of Conservative MPs who have resigned in shame since 2019, including Owen Paterson (cash for questions), Imran Ahmad Khan (convicted paedophile), Neil Parish (watching porn in the House of Commons), David Warbuton (sexual offences), and Chris Pincher (also sexual offences). Clearly each of these incidents creates an opportunity for blackmail by foreign intelligence agencies
We still don’t know why a 29 year old woman was made a life peer, or what her relationship is to Boris, nor why Ben Houchen was made a Lord despite an inquiry into unusual financial dealings by the Tees Valley Development Corporation.
It must be clear from this list that there are a lot of very posh Tory MPs who think that decent behaviour, sensible precautions against foreign agents, and financial probity are optional – something for the little people, not for them.
I am prepared to believe that mostly this is snobbiness and sloppiness rather than widespread treason. Although with each story it gets harder and harder to avoid suspecting treachery.
Not all of these incidents involve foreign intervention, but enough do to wonder how this happened?
The City of London, with all of it’s venerable institutions, have long provided a safe haven for people who have acquired vast wealth but can’t leave it in the countries they acquired it in, usually because it was acquired in suspect ways
Indian Maharajas, Latin American dictators, Greek Colonels, Arab Sheiks, Russian Oligarchs, all have relied upon London and it’s discrete financial services, while educating their kids at Eton and Harrow. Even back in the days of Billy Bunter he shared the remove with the sons of an Indian maharaja and a Greek shipping magnate.
Our elites have long welcomed these people among their ranks, going to school with them, and making them part of the circles of chums and favours and no questions asked
That is why it was so easy for the Russians and the Chinese to slip into the Tory Party.
The difference is that the Russians, and laterly the Chinese, have plans to change the direction of British politics, to turn us away from our long standing democractic traditions, and transform Britain into the kind of authoritarian oligarchy they had at home.
Previous generations of the British elite might have put up more resistance, but the current shower are happy to allow the Russians and Chinese to do what they want just as long as their own political and financial interests were protected.
When this Government falls, and it will, there needs to be a formal legal inquiry into how we were so easily infiltrated and subverted by hostile foreign powers, including the Brexit vote.