Tough sanctions pledged against foreign spies and rogue states in Russia row

Interior Minister Priti Patel will propose new laws against post-storm foreign interference over Russia’s influence in the UK.

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) warned that successive governments “welcomed the oligarchs and their money with open arms” and allowed them to “forge top-level connections with access to British companies and political figures.”

Priti Patel responded by telling it Daily Express she is working on a bill that will impose stricter sanctions on spies and rogue states.

She said, “Security is what we stand for – protecting our people, our country, our state.”

A former head of the cabinet’s International Terrorism Intelligence Service welcomed the news, saying that the British watch against Moscow has “declined”.

Richard Kemp: “Robust measures are now vital, not only to defend ourselves against Russian aggression, but also to enable our security services to take the offensive against their hardships.”

The interview comes days after MPs released a long-delayed report alleging that the UK had “underestimated” the Moscow threat.

Ms Patel said the report is out of date and Britain has since improved its position.

The UK previously accused Russia of launching a projectile “with the characteristics of a weapon” during a satellite test, warning that it “could threaten peaceful use of space”.

It was the first time that the Ministry of Defense has declared such Russian activities. The US also condemned the action.

Meanwhile, Tory donor Alexander Temerko insisted that Russia-affiliated businessmen have a “zero” influence on British politics.

Mr Temerko, who has donated over £ 1 million to the Tories, said his wealth gave him influence in the city, but not in Westminster. The businessman, who runs an energy company, was born in the former Soviet Union, but is now a British citizen.

The Times reported that 14 cabinet ministers and members of the ISC had withdrawn funds from figures related to Russia.

It mentioned Northern Ireland’s Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, who had personally received £ 25,000 from Lubov Chernukhin, a banker and wife of former Deputy Finance Minister Putin, and £ 23,000 from Mr Temerko.

Other cabinet ministers said they have accepted money, either personally or for their constituency, from the two individuals linked in Russia, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Secretary of State Alok Sharma and Justice Minister Robert Buckland


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