David Cameron defends tennis match with ex-Russian minister’s wife over £160,000 Tory donation

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March 9, 2022, 6:41 PM | Updated: March 9, 2022, 7:03 p.m.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron has defended a £160,000 donation made to the Tories by the wife of a former Russian minister in return for a tennis match on LBC’s Tonight show with Andrew Marr.

Mr Cameron was asked about the donation during Tonight With Andrew Marr, where he claimed there was ‘absolutely no conversation about Russia, finances, Putin or anything else “.

He later said, “If they tried to buy something, they didn’t get it, did they?”

The 2014 match involved Boris Johnson – who was then mayor of London – and Lubov’s wife Chernukhin, who bid at an auction at a Tory event.

Ms Chernukhin is a longtime Conservative Party donor whose husband served under Vladimir Putin.

The tennis match against Mr Johnson and then-Prime Minister Mr Cameron was among the items auctioned off at the Conservative Party’s Summer Ball.

Andrew asked Mr Cameron if he had played the game in return for the huge donation.

“Yes, I remember that. There was absolutely no conversation about Russia, about finance, about Putin or anything else…”, he replied.

“What do you think they were trying to buy?” Andrew fired back.

Watch Tonight with Andrew Marr exclusively on Global Player Monday-Thursday 6-7pm https://www.globalplayer.com/live/lbc/uk/

“First, let me stress this point. We had a very thorough system of vetting who could and could not give money to the Conservative Party.

“A very small handful of people who had ties to Russia, as far as I was concerned most were dissidents, often Ukrainians.

“Essentially on this point, Britain had the strongest anti-Putin policy of any country in Europe.”

You can also listen to the podcast Tonight with Andrew Marr only on Global Player.

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