Tories are told: Give Russian money to charity

Ukraine invasion: ‘Two Cities’ MP urges PM to go further with sanctions

Friday, 25th February — By Tom Foot

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Councillor David Boothroyd

WESTMINSTER Conservatives have been urged to give tens of thousands of pounds – received from Russian-linked donors over more than a decade – to charity, as the world watches in horror at Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion.

Public information freely available on the Electoral Commission website reveals four major Russian-linked donors have contributed regularly to the ­party’s coffers. The Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association has received £76,764 since 2007, while the Westminster North Conservative Association has received £41,727 since 2009.

While there is no suggestion of wrongdoing or rule-breaking, critics of the Ukraine invasion believe Westminster Conservatives could help send a strong message to Boris Johnson about ramping up ­sanctions against Russia.

Councillor David Boothroyd, who leads on finance for the Labour group on the city council, said: “We need a proper register of foreign-owned property to know how much wealth they have hidden in Westminster’s property market. We call on Westminster Conservatives to return this money, not to the donors, but to charities supporting people in Ukraine.”

MP Nickie Aiken

And, in a separate development, Cities of London and Westminster Conservative MP Nickie Aiken said yesterday (Thursday) she wanted the prime minister to go “further and faster on economic sanctions”.

She said: “So many people have raised the issue of Russian dirty money, particularly in my constituency. I will not stop working with the government to rid our capital of dirty money. We must send a clear message to Putin and dictators that they are not welcome, nor their money, or their business opportunities in the capital of our great nation.”

She added that she had raised the issue of Russian money in the City of Westminster “with ministers privately and have highlighted it in the House of Commons since entering parliament”, adding: “I will continue to do so until we rid our capital and country of such investments”.

The Conservative associations were contacted for comment but had not responded at the time the Extra went to press.

And Westminster City Council said it would not comment on what was a party matter.

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