MP responds to £50,000 election-donation claims

Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan in Prime Minister's Questions.
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan in Prime Minister's Questions.

MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has responded to claims that a ‘Russian’ businessman gave almost £50,000 to fund her 2015 General Election campaign.

In the wake of the Sergei Skripal poisoning scandal, Alnwick Labour Party wrote to Berwick’s Conservative MP to question her about donations from Alexander Temerko, who is prominent in the energy sector and is former vice-chairman of the now-defunct Russian company, Yukos.

Labour demanded to know the background and motivations behind the donations.

Anne-Marie responded by saying that Mr Temerko was a Ukraine-born British citizen and she had not personally received funds from him.

Labour’s letter states: ‘After the recent poisoning of Sergei Skripal, an ex-intelligence officer to Russia, on British soil in

Sailsbury, rightful investigations are taking place into Russian involvement in the UK, and specifically, in British politics.

‘As shown in Electoral Commission records, your campaign for election is specifically mentioned, after it received almost £50,000 in donations from Mr Temerko, a Russian businessman with offshore wind interests in the North East.

‘What would a Russian businessman stand to benefit from donating such a large sum of money to a Conservative candidate in Northumberland?

‘Have you or your representatives fully investigated the source of this money and can you categorically state that this money is from a legitimate, British-based source?

‘Do you know Mr Temerko in a personal sense, or have you had any business connections with him before becoming elected as an MP?’

Mrs Trevelyan said: ‘I am disappointed your letter suggests that somehow a person’s country of origin should prevent them from engaging in business and society.

‘Mr Temerko is not a Russian, nor any longer, one of its citizens. He was born in the Ukraine and became a British citizen some years ago.

‘He has shown he is committed to the success of our regional economy through his considerable personal investment in North East businesses.

‘You state that I received £50,000 from Mr Temerko. This is incorrect. I have personally not received any funds from Mr Temerko, however my association, Berwick-upon-Tweed Conservative Association, did receive funds in the run-up to the General Election 2015 totalling £7,240, as listed in my entry to the Register of Members Interests.

‘Mr Temerko donated, as his is right as a British citzen, and all donations are properly and transparently declared.’