Having flagged up Bogus Barwell, the millionaire developers’ best mate, news reaches us of the donors who have contributed thousands of pounds to his “Don’t Mention the Tories” campaign to hang on to his parliamentary seat in Croydon Central.
These include one shadowy figure who is employed to make the selling off of our NHS to private profiteers more “palatable”, and a former Russian oligarch who has spent a decade in exile to escape being tried on fraud charges.
On top of that, there’s a juicy £5,000 contributed to Barwell’s constituency party by his Conservative colleagues on Croydon Council – that’s money from our Council Tax that was paid to the Tory councillors in allowances, and which has been funnelled straight into the campaign coffers.
That could include money from Mike #WadGate Fisher, the Croydon Tories’ leader who was forced to stand down last year when he was caught awarding himself a secret £12,000 allowances bonus from public funds.
There is no one, it seems, that Barwell will not accept money from in order to buy his way to saving his political skin.
Our loyal reader flagged up the generous gift of £5,000 from a company called Offshore Newcastle Group Ltd.
Why would an oil exploration company based in the north-east be interested in supporting an erstwhile MP for suburban south London? What might they expect in return?
It turns out that one of the men behind Offshore Newcastle Group is Alexander Temerko, who was one of the billionaire oligarchs running Russia at the turn of the century, or at least until he became too rich and influential for the liking of Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian-born, Temerko is now a British citizen who lives in exile in central London. Until 2005, he was a senior figure in the Russian company Yukos. The circumstances of Yukos’s collapse provoked international censure. Temerko was alleged to have defrauded the state-owned Rosneft oil firm and was charged with fraud and perverting the course of justice.
The Russian government failed to have Temerko extradited from the United Kingdom to stand trial. An English court ruled that the Russian prosecution was “made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him for his political opinions”.
Another of Barwell’s backers, as declared and available on the splendid TheyWorkForYou (if only that were true) website is a public relations and campaigns expert called Mark Fulbrook, who works cheek-by-jowl with the notorious Australian spin doctor, Lynton Crosby.
When not working on Cameron’s Conservatives’ election campaign, Fullbrook and Crosby have been lobbying hard to expand the role of private healthcare.
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