MPs who compiled the Russia report were incredulous at Britain’s reluctance to tackle Kremlin
In September 2015 a tall young man with jet black hair and a pleasant grin made his way to Doncaster. His name was Alexander Udod. With the EU referendum vote on the horizon, Udod was attending Ukip’s annual conference. In theory he was a political observer. Actually Udod was an undercover spy, based at the Russian embassy in London.
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Udod chatted with the man who would play a key role in Brexit – the Bristol businessman Arron Banks. The spy invited Banks to meet the Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko. What allegedly followed was a series of friendly encounters between Leave.EU and the Russians in the crucial months before the June 2016 poll: a boozy lunch, pints in a Notting Hill pub, and the offer of a Siberian gold deal. (Banks denies receiving money from Russia and previously stated his only contact with the Russian government in the run-up to the referendum consisted of “one boozy lunch” with the ambassador.)