Labour demand investigation into Boris' unofficial meeting with ex-KGB Lebedev

9 July 2022, 23:04

Labour demanded investigation into Boris Johnson's unofficial meeting with ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev
Labour demanded investigation into Boris Johnson's unofficial meeting with ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Labour have demanded for an investigation to be launched after Boris Johnson admitted to meeting ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev without notifying officials.

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Labour has written to the newly-appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Kit Malthouse to demand a full investigation in the wake of the Prime Minister’s admission to the Liaison Committee on Wednesday, that he met Alexander Lebedev.

The Prime Minister confirmed he met with the ex-KGB agent in April 2018, at the height of the Salisbury poisoning crisis and without any officials or security, whilst he was Foreign Secretary.

Labour's Deputy Leader Angela Rayner and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper have jointly written to the newly-appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Kit Malthouse to demand a full investigation into the matter.

Read more: Dominic Raab repeatedly refuses to comment on PM's relationship with Russian billionaire

The letter calls for:

  • A full investigation into the extend of the security risks and the potential disclosure of sensitive information – If the Prime Minister is found to have breached national security, he must leave office immediately.
  • Provision of the full assessment made by the intelligence agencies of the national security implications.
  • Urgent clarity about the meeting between Johnson and Lebedev, including the necessary Ministerial Transparency declarations.

Johnson's meeting with Lebedev requires 'secret service investigation'

It concludes: "The chaos currently enveloping your administration must not be a distraction from addressing serious issues around our national security.

"The country needs to know that our national security is being fully protected and that these serious concerns are being properly addressed."

Angela Rayner, Labour Deputy Leader, said: "The Prime Minister poses an ongoing threat to national security.

"If he is found to have himself breached the national security protocols that are there keep us safe, he has no option but to leave his office immediately and face the full consequences of the law. It’s a red line.

"There must now be a full investigation into the extent of the security risks and the potential disclosure of sensitive information. We can have no more concealment. This murky affair has been covered up for too long already.

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"The full assessment made by the intelligence agencies of the national security implications must be provided to the Intelligence and Security Committee, including whether Boris Johnson took any papers from the NATO meeting, the possible compromising of his phone and their assessment of any further risk to security from the presence of an undeclared and unidentified guest."

Tom Swarbrick grills Raab over PM's relationship with Lebedev

Alexander Lebedev has been sanctioned by Canada after Russia's invasion of Ukraine for being one of 14 identified people who "have directly enabled Vladimir Putin’s senseless war in Ukraine and bear responsibility for the pain and suffering of the people of Ukraine".

The Labour deputy leader continued: "As Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson’s carelessness with words put people in danger.

"He can no longer cover up his friendship with this former KGB agent with Kremlin links, a man now sanctioned by Canada, with investments in Crimea.

Read more: Labour Party wants 'direct action' to get Boris out of No10, says Angela Rayner

"Yet the Prime Minister had accepted thousands of pounds in gifts and made his son a Lord in our Parliament.

"Boris Johnson’s careless attitude to national security is a thread of shame running through his career.

"He was always unfit to be Prime Minister. Every day he clings to office, more revelations provide new evidence of the damage he has been doing to our country and the threat he poses to our safety."

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