Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Cameron's tennis date with banker

A game of tennis with the Prime Minister and Mayor of London has been auctioned by the Tory Party for a reported £160,000 to the wife of a former Russian government minister.

Banker Lubov Chernukhin, who is a Tory party member and supporter, won the prize at the Conservatives' summer fundraising ball on Wednesday.

She is married to Vladimir Chernukhin, a former deputy finance minister, and is believed to have donated £5,500 to the Tories since 2012.

At the event held at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, west London, a bottle of champagne signed by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was reportedly sold off for £40,000.

Other lots were said to include a pheasant shoot on the Oxfordshire estate of Syrian-born billionaire Wafic Said, which reportedly went for £80,000.

Mrs Chernukhin's lawyers Carter-Ruck confirmed she was the successful bidder.

The Conservative Party, which did not publish a guest list for the function, refused to confirm the amount paid for the match. A spokesman for Boris Johnson said it was a "party matter".

Fiona Twycross, the Labour Group's economy spokeswoman at the London Assembly, said it beggared belief the Mayor could find time to play tennis but had not visited a food bank during his six years in office.

She said: "He will happily socialise with associates of authoritarian regimes that give his party £160,000, but is unwilling to come and see what life is like for struggling Londoners.

"Last year Boris spent more time in Doha than Dagenham, Cannes than Canning Town and the Gulf than Greenwich. This latest incident is proof of just how out of touch the Mayor truly is.

"It beggars belief that Boris can find the time to play tennis with the wife of a former Russian minister, but hasn't been able to spare the time to visit a food bank in his six years in office."


From Belfast Telegraph