Release the Russia Report

The wife of a former Putin ally has donated £325,000 to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives as he continues to sit on a report into Russian interference, reports Business Insider.

  • The wife of a former minister in Putin’s government has become the biggest ever female donor to a political party in the UK.
  • Lubov Chernukhin, who is married to ex-Russian finance minister Vladimir Chernukhin, gave £325,000 to the party in the first quarter of 2020.
  • This reportedly included £45,000 for a game of tennis with Boris Johnson.
  • Johnson is under pressure to release a report into Russian interference that was completed in October 2019.
  • A Conservative party spokesperson said all donations are “properly and transparently declared” and “comply fully with the law.”

No-one is chasing this, the Acuri Scandal is dismissed or the 80 seat majority won by election fraud.

The Dog That Doesn’t Hunt

You have to make your own mind on this but it does look like the IOPC is like the Dog That Doesn’t Hunt… The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) examined the prime minister’s dealings with businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, and whether her company benefited financially from their relationship but…

“Evidence required to establish whether Boris Johnson may have committed misconduct in public office had been deleted. The material stored in digital devices, email accounts and computer drives belonging to the mayor and his appointees was deleted when he left office in 2016.”

IOPC Report 2020

Notice the lack of mention of reviewing data on servers, archives or back-ups, which is where you’d expect to find the evidence.

“The requirement in the Greater London Authority (GLA) Records Management Guidance for any material concerning GLA business (which includes sponsorship and trade missions) to be transferred to executive officers prior to deletion appears not to have been followed.”

IOPC Report 2020

The report said there was

  • no record of the rationale for accepting Ms Arcuri’s attendance on trade missions
  • or sponsorship of applications for grants
  • or the decision to pay her lnnotech company almost £24,000.

Note that elsewhere the figures being discussed are much higher.

“Mr Johnson’s solicitors have said he has no relevant documents in his custody or control, and Ms Arcuri has said that she deleted any relevant email correspondence…” and the failure to ensure GLA records were secured… “may have prevented the review from reviewing relevant evidence”.

IOPC Report 2020

The GLA stated that email and computer drives of departing staff, including a mayor and their appointees, are “promptly deleted” as a matter of course, and that mobile phones and laptops are returned and wiped for re-use. [TDG: again no mention of servers, back-ups or archives]

The GLA’s own guidance says departing mayors should arrange for records to be preserved but “there is no evidence that Mr Johnson and his outgoing appointees transferred any records to executive officers at the end of the mayoral term in 2016, nor that they were reminded of their obligation to do so before they left”.

The IOPC called for the “matter of concern” to be addressed with a full audit of the GLA’s information retention policies. (TDG: In other words, the GLA had already wiped and shredded everything of any importance because of the l-o-n-g process of alerting them to the fact that the investigation was going to happen.)

The IOPC reported “months of efforts” to access evidence but concluded that there were no further “reasonable and proportionate steps that can be taken by this review or by any future criminal investigations which could result in the recovery of more material”.

The IOPC concluded that there was only evidence supporting reasonable suspicion that Mr Johnson committed misconduct in public office in relation to one of six allegations. That related to a 2015 trade mission in New York, where Ms Arcuri was permitted to attend despite the fact her company was not eligible to participate. The report said it “occurred after the time when we have evidence suggesting that there may have been an intimate/sexual relationship between Ms Arcuri and Mr Johnson”. A letter from Mr Johnson’s solicitor said: “If and when Ms Arcuri did attend any such events, our client was not previously expecting her to attend.”

After conducting interviews, taking statements and reviewing more than 900 documents reviewed, including eight years of relevant emails from other sources, the IOPC concluded that a criminal investigation could not be launched.

“For Mr Johnson to have committed an offence of misconduct in public office, there must be evidence either that he wilfully misconducted himself or that he wilfully neglected his public duties,” it added.

Trying to find another methaphor for “the Dog That Doesn’t Hunt”, this was the result: the term is modelled on the 17th-18th century phrase “that cock won’t fight”. In the days of cock-fighting, a cock that wouldn’t fight when out into the pit and so a natural metaphor for a plan that wouldn’t work. And indeed, Johnson may not have got his “leg over”… but, it does look the IOPC has just generated a lot of work with no intention of uncovering any misconduct. Both have indicated that there was a “relationship” and Arcuri milked it for all it was worth – she cannot be blamed for that – but see her videos on youtube – her technical prowess is not high despite her bravado. Whether there was sex there is, in any case, irrelevant (although it seems highly likely), Johnson should not use his public office to grant her favours AND THERE IS EVIDENCE HE DID THAT!

The only way to really decide his guilt would be in court. But this will not happen. The establishment will not be sending the Prime Minister to trial. Meanwhile, has anyone seen the Russia Report?