“The Tories have accepted £30,000 from the wife of a former crony of Vladimir Putin to dine with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. The donation by Lubov Chernukhin, who is married to an ex-Russian deputy finance minister, comes just a fortnight after Mr Williamson said a Russian cyber attack on Britain’s electricity supply could kill thousands.
Mr Williamson will give Mrs Chernukhin a private tour of Churchill’s War Rooms in Whitehall. He will then host a dinner for her and a group of her friends there after she made a successful bid at last week’s Tory lavish Black and White Ball.
Banker Mrs Chernukhin previously successfully bid £160,000 at a Tory fundraiser to play tennis with Boris Johnson, and also paid £20,000 to dine with Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson in Edinburgh.
The Tories deny that Mrs Chernukhin, now a British citizen, is a Putin crony. Her billionaire husband, Vladimir, 49, fell out of favour with the Russian president when he was forced out of his post running a state-run Moscow bank.
Mr Williamson said last month that Moscow had been photographing UK power stations in a threat to damage our infrastructure.
The Conservative Party declined to comment.”