Peerage of Lord Lebedev: Russian-born businessman says he has ‘nothing to hide’ as MPs endorse call for ‘transparency’ on peerage | Political news

Lord Lebedev, the Russian-born media tycoon, said he had ‘nothing to hide’ as MPs approved a Labor motion to force the government to release documents about Boris’ involvement Johnson in his nomination as a peer.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly denied the opinion was overruled to grant the businessman and owner of the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers a seat in the House of Lords in 2020.

Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s former senior aide, has previously claimed he was ‘in the room’ when Mr Johnson was told about the security concerns over by Mr Lebedev appointment in perspective.

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Mr. Cummings said intelligence officials had told the prime minister they had “serious reservations” about the proposed move.

Workforce asks for advice and documents to publish

Labor has repeatedly lobbied the government to decide whether to award Lord Lebedev, the son of a former KGB agent, a seat in the Lords, particularly during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Original reports from The Sunday Times suggested the Prime Minister had been advised by the House of Lords Nominating Committee, which reviews Lords nominations, which later changed its mind.

In a letter published this month, the commission confirmed that it had verified Appointment of Lord Lebedev and advised the Prime Minister on this, but declined to comment further.

Boris Johnson appointed Lord Lebedev to the House of Lords in 2020

Lord Lebedev has insisted he is not a “security risk” to the UK.

On Tuesday, the Labor Party successfully used parliamentary procedures to try to force the publication of notices issued to and from the Prime Minister’s private office and the Cabinet Office at Lord Lebedev’s Peerage Committee.

Using a ‘humble address’ motion, which had already been used by the opposition in 2017 to force the government to release Brexit documents, Labour’s aim was to ensure that all relevant correspondence, including emails and minutes of meetings, are published.

With the motion passed, the government now has until April 28 to produce the documents.

“Openness and transparency are the pillars of our democratic system”

Posting on social media ahead of the debate over his peerage, Lord Lebedev said in the interests of ‘openness and transparency’ he backed calls for the publication of information relating to his position in the Lords .

“Openness and transparency are the pillars of our democratic system, which is why I welcome the call for the publication of the security advice about me provided to HOLAC. I have nothing to hide,” he said. -he declares.

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In a second tweet, he added: “And in the spirit of transparency, here is a text for me from Keir Starmer. ‘Congratulations on your elevation to the House of Lords. All the best, Keir’.”

He continued: “There is a war in Europe. Britain is facing the highest cost of living since the 1950s. And you are choosing to argue with me on the basis of no facts and pure innuendo. What happened to your UK job? #shadowofyour elder.”

Lebedev’s Putin ties are ‘deeply concerning’

Opening the debate, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said Lord Lebedev’s “deeply worrying links to Putin are well known”.

Angela Rayner during PMQs
Opening the debate, Angela Rayner said it was “a matter of national security”

She said: “The British public has a right to know if – and how – someone apparently concerned with our intelligence services has been granted a seat in the heart of parliament by personal order of the Prime Minister.

“If the Prime Minister was aware of this security advisory, but chose to ignore it, reject it or even demand that it be changed.”

She concluded: “This is a matter of national security and there can be no delay in achieving transparency in this matter.”

Cabinet Secretary Sir Michael Ellis accused Labor of seeking to ‘stir up anti-Russian sentiment’ and warned that ‘not all Russians are our enemies’.

He said the government ‘regrets’ Labour’s motion, telling MPs the House of Commons has historically ‘shown restraint’ in demanding the publication of documents.

Referring to Lord Lebedev’s tweet that Sir Keir texted him congratulatory when he received the peerage, Sir Michael added: ‘Now this must be rather embarrassing for the party opposite.’

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