Boris Johnson admits to meeting former KGB officer without officials present
Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted to the British Parliament on Wednesday that he had met with former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev without other officials present.
Johnson, who is facing calls to resign amid a flurry of scandals, said the meeting happened in Italy, when he served as the United Kingdom’s foreign secretary, in 2018. He was asked about it during a meeting of the Commons Liaison Committee, which is investigating Johnson’s appointment of Lebedev’s son, Evgeny Lebedev, to the House of Lords.
BORIS JOHNSON VOWS TO STAY IN OFFICE DESPITE SCANDALS
“I certainly have met the gentleman in question, who used to be the proprietor of the London Evening Standard when I was mayor of London,” Johnson said, according to the Independent.
“I have certainly met him without officials,” Johnson also said, adding, “On the occasion you are mentioning, if that was when I was foreign secretary, then yes.” The prime minister stressed that he notified officials that he met with Alexander Lebedev.
The Sunday Times reported in March that Johnson ignored a warning from the security services that claimed the appointment posed a national security risk. Downing Street, however, said granting the peerage was performed “entirely properly and correctly,” according to the Guardian.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Evgeny Lebedev, who has served in the House of Lords since 2020 and owns the London Evening Standard, has denied being a security risk despite his father previously serving in the Russian KGB.
Alexander Lebedev stepped down from his position on a U.K. media board in May after Canada placed sanctions against him for his connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin.