Posted on Feb 15, 2020
Following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet re-shuffle, John Whittingdale, a Member of Parliament since 1992, has been appointed as Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Whittingdale is known for, amongst other unsavoury associations, his dealings with pro-Kremlin Ukrainian businessman, Dmytro Firtash.
In November 2019 it was reported that John Sweeney, a BBC investigative reporter, claimed that a BBC Newsnight investigation into connections between Whittingdale and Firtash, the pro-Kremlin oligarch, had been "shelved".
As a backbench MP Whittingdale had allegedly made five trips to Ukraine, funded by the British Ukrainian Society, which was set up by Firtash. At one point Whittingdale was himself a director of the society, a position he resigned from in November 2014. However, Whittingdale's register of interests showed that he continued to receive travel and accommodation from the society certainly into March 2015 when he attended a conference in Vienna, where Firtash, who was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in April 2014, was based, and from where he continues to fight extradition to face bribery charges in solving some $18.5 million.
Firtash employed former Chair of Donald Trump's Presidential campaign team Paul Manafort, currently serving a prison sentence for federal financial crimes, as a “business consultant” in Ukraine.
U.S. federal prosecutors described Firtash in 2017 court papers as an associate of Russian organised crime. He was also highly influential during the administration of the Viktor Yanukovych, which ended when the despotic and corrupt leader ignominiously fled Ukraine to sanctuary in Russia in February 2014.
In Ukraine, where Firtash holds extensive interests in the country's energy sector, he was accused by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of laundering gas money to pay Yanukovych's supporters.
In 2016 Whittingdale’s former lover Stephanie Hudson, a topless model, said that the MP had discussed Firtash with her.
Whittingdale's half-brother is Charles Napier, former treasurer of the defunct Paedophile Information Exchange, who in November 2014 was convicted of sexual sexual abuse offences against young boys.
Whittingdale - OSCE
Firtash - V.Diegtiar,- Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...
Follow EU Today on Social media: