Boris Johnson mingled with Russian elite amid claims of Moscow interference in UK politics

By | December 22, 2019

The Guardian reports:

The Lebedev family insist that they are merely entrepreneurs and media proprietors. Nonetheless, the party – held to celebrate Alexander’s 60th birthday – was a practical demonstration of how extensive their connections are, stretching all the way to Downing Street.

Johnson was one of several top politicians who turned up to the event, held at the Lebedev family’s £6m stuccoed mansion overlooking Regent’s Park. Guests included David and Samantha Cameron and George Osborne, now a Lebedev employee as Evening Standard editor. From the Blairite left, Peter Mandelson and Tristram Hunt were also in attendance.

Others invited to the vodka and caviar birthday party included Mick Jagger, Princess Eugenie, the actors Matt Smith and Rosamund Pike, and the model Lily Cole. Comedians Eddie Izzard and David Baddiel, the artist Grayson Perry and sculptor Antony Gormley were also there. Missing this year was the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

As grand as the list was, the newly elected prime minister’s presence – the night after his election win – was eye-catching. Johnson has long been a celebrity as well as a politician – but for a leader who promised to lead a “people’s government”, to rub shoulders with such an exclusive elite as one of his first public acts after victory might seem a little incongruous. [Continue reading…]

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