The Green Party has stated that the Pandora Papers provide further evidence of Russian influence over, and interference in, UK democracy.
‘The Pandora Papers’ refer to one of the biggest offshore data leaks in history, which has seen 11.9 million files being exposed from companies hired to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens. On Sunday (3 October), the files were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington, as well as the Guardian, BBC Panorama, Le Monde, and the Washington Post.
The Papers reveal that a former banker, Lubov Chernukhin, is one of the biggest female donors in recent British political history. She donates enough to the Conservative party to qualify for membership of a small group of ultra-rich donors who meet monthly with Johnson and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak.
Chernukhin’s husband is a former deputy finance minister under Russian president, Vladimir Putin. There is also evidence that the firm of a Russian-born oil tycoon has made huge donations to the Conservative party. Furthermore, while Russian president, Vladimir Putin, does not appear in the files by name, numerous close associates do.
Earlier this year Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, was one of six politicians who took the government to court over refusing to establish a public inquiry over alleged Russian interference in UK elections.
Green Party co-leader, Adrian Ramsay, said: “Boris Johnson and his government have consistently failed to investigate Russian interference in our electoral processes and therefore failed to adequately protect our democracy. This is hardly surprising given that the Tory party receives vast sums from multi-millionaire Russian donors, who make their millions from dodgy off-shore dealings. Many of them are also close to the Putin regime. No wonder the government didn’t want to follow up on the Russia Report.
“Dominic Raab has used Law and Order day at the Tory Party Conference to attack the Human Rights Act, which has been key to some of the most important justice fights over the last 30 years and offers important protection against an overbearing government. This is just the sort of thing one might expect to hear from authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin.
“Voter suppression, attempts to limit the constitutional scope of the judiciary, and attacks on the freedom to protest are all policies more appropriate to a dictatorship than a flourishing democracy."