Top Tory donor who gave party '£1.6m' refuses to detail vetting process

27 March 2022, 14:00 | Updated: 27 March 2022, 15:01

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A veteran Tory donor has refused to say what checks were carried out on him when he started giving money to the Conservative Party.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Ukranian-born businessman Alexander Temerko, who is also a former Russian defence official, was grilled about his contributions to the party by LBC's Tom Swarbrick.

Mr Temerko, who gained British citizenship in 2011, has reportedly donated more than £1.6million over the last decade.

READ MORE: Temerko calls for No-fly zone on NATO border as Ukraine faces 'Holodomor like famine'

READ MORE: Putin 'cannot remain in power': Biden sparks chaos as Kremlin hits back over Poland speech

It comes amid controversy over some donors and whether they influence government policy.

Asked if he was ever vetted before he donated, Mr Temerko said: "I think there is a law... the Electoral Commission and every donation must be declared."

He insisted there are "strong" checks for donors and "many" have been "rejected".

However, when asked what the checks are, he said "we don't have any big scandals in the Conservative Party for donors", adding all donors are "decent people".

When further pressed, he continued "I'm not member of this committee" adding it would be "better" to ask the party about "the procedure".

He insisted again: "I believe we have a very strong check and we have very good donors... charitable people."

He said donors were mainly "55-60 and older" and "don't have any ambitions, business ambitions or other ambitions... all their influence is in the past... now they do it from their heart."

When asked what he hoped to gain by donating money, Mr Temerko said he was "an industrial voice" in the Conservative Party who wants to see the UK become a "more industrial country", specifically with regards to the energy sector.

"We must be not only service country, we should to be industrial country," he said.

On spending time with Boris Johnson when he was foreign secretary, Mr Temerko said he occasionally met him on the balcony in Parliament but denied every doing so in his ministerial office.

He said this was "absolutely normal" as there were "usually a lot of people" around Mr Johnson, calling him a "magnet... centre of gravity".

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

'Nonsense' to suggest Brexit to blame for surge in inflation, says Dr Liam Fox

'Nonsense' to suggest Brexit to blame for surge in inflation, says Tory MP

Turkey could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO claims Erdogan ally

Turkey could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO, claims ex-Erdogan aide

Kwasi Kwarteng said people look at British buildings and “make a judgement” on “our standing in the world”

'We project world standing': Minister defends Govt plans to buy '£20m New York partyhouse'

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 15/5 | Watch again

Starmer's position would be 'strengthened' if cleared of beergate - former Labour manifesto writer

Starmer's position 'strengthened' if cleared of 'Beergate' - ex-Labour manifesto writer

Deputy PM Dominic Raab speaks to LBC's Tom Swarbrick on the NI Protocol.

'Nothing off the table': Raab says fixing Brexit deal 'critical' for Northern Ireland

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 08/5 | Watch again

Jeremy Corbyn: Keir Starmer Beergate investigation 'very serious'

Jeremy Corbyn: Keir Starmer Beergate investigation 'very serious'

American politician tied in knots over 'biblical' defence of abortion bans

American politician tied in knots over 'biblical' defence of abortion bans

Iain Dale on Sunday | Watch live from 10am

Iain Dale On Sunday Election Special 1/05 | Watch again

Angela Rayner lashed out at the "lies" being briefed about her

Rayner hits out at Tory MPs' 'desperate, perverted smears' after Basic Instinct claims

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 24/4 | Watch again

The Session with Tom Swarbrick - a new podcast from LBC

The Session with Tom Swarbrick - a new podcast from LBC

'No civilians were killed by Russian missiles': Watch Russian news host's outrageous interview with Tom Swarbrick

'No civilians were killed by our missiles': Watch Russian news host's outrageous interview

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 10/4 | Watch again

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch LIVE

Swarbrick on Sunday 3/04 | Watch again