UK

Tory donor calls for Russia interference report to be published

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Media captionConservative Party donor Alexander Temerko speaks to BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera

A Conservative Party donor has called for the publication of a report on alleged Russian interference in UK democracy.

Alexander Temerko said the paper by the Intelligence Security Committee (ISC) should be published "for democracy reasons".

The report has formal security clearance, but it will not be released until after the 12 December election.

Downing Street has denied claims it is suppressing the document.

Former Russian official Mr Temerko has donated more than £1m to the Tory Party and its candidates in recent years.

"I think for democracy reasons, this report should be released, because if there is real Russian influence, people and country should know about that," he told BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera.

The Sunday Times said nine Russian business people who had donated money to the Conservatives were named in the report.

Mr Temerko, a Ukrainian-born businessman who became a British citizen in 2011, said it was "ridiculous" to suggest he had worked with Russia.

He added he had "never" been considered a "friend" of the Kremlin or of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I'm against [the] Kremlin," he said.

Image copyright Alexander Temerko
Image caption Mr Temerko has given more than £1m to Boris Johnson's party in recent years

Analysis

By Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

Alexander Temerko is adamant he is not an agent of the Kremlin but a critic.

And he wants people to know it.

The failure to release the Intelligence and Security Committee Russia report has led the vacuum to be filled with speculation about what might be in it and for questions to be raised about how Russia might be trying to exercise influence on public life.

Mr Temerko argues his own story - of fleeing Russia a decade and a half ago - shows he cannot be working on the Kremlin's behalf.

But without seeing the details of the report, questions will remain about what it really says in terms of what other routes Moscow might have used.

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