- A Conservative donor that gave £25,000 to Dominic Raab is "dependent on the FSB", an MP has claimed.
- Labour MP Liam Byrne said Dmitry Leus was recruited by the FSB, "who got him out of prison".
- A spokesperson for Leus dismissed the allegations as "completely untrue and somewhat ridiculous".
Intelligence sources believe that a former Russian banker who gave £25,000 to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab while he was foreign secretary in July 2021 is "absolutely dependent on the FSB", an MP has claimed.
Speaking during a parliamentary debate on Thursday afternoon, Labour MP Liam Byrne said the Turkmenistan-born former Russian banker Dmitry Leus was recruited by the FSB "who got him out of prison".
Leus was convicted of money laundering in Russia in 2004 and the conviction was later removed from his record; whether this was the result of an appeal or not is disputed. He insists the conviction was politically motivated.
Byrne, a former Treasury minister, said: "There is a clear knowledge of his recruitment by the FSB, who got him out of prison. He has a criminal record in Russia. Intelligence sources I have seen say he is 'absolutely dependent on the FSB'."
The Labour MP later told Insider his intelligence sources were from within the Kremlin.
A spokesperson for Leus told Insider the allegations were "completely untrue and somewhat ridiculous, given Dmitry suffered in the infamous Lefortovo prison."
"One rather wonders who Liam Byrne MP has been associating with," she said, noting she had not been able to contact Leus directly before issuing the statement.
She later added: "Allegations made in the House of Commons today, 7 July 2022, by Liam Byrne MP are completely false.
"It seems particularly offensive to suggest that a man held at the notoriously unpleasant FSB prison Lefortovo prison, where human rights are routinely abused, be in anyway connected with that organisation.
"Mr Leus nearly died in that prison after a poisoning attempt. The truth is that the FSB destroyed his life and he came to rebuild it in the UK."
Insider has previously revealed how Leus was president of the Runnymede and Weybridge Conservative Association from June 2021 to February 2022.
A senior local Conservative source, given anonymity to speak frankly, told Insider they were not surprised by Byrne's allegations.
"Why did he suddenly get let off by the Russian authorities? They don't tend to deal with people like that kindly," the source said. "We're trying to disown Dmitry as much as we can now. We did bank his £25,000. I don't know whether we should send it back."
"The main embarrassment is for people like Dominic Raab. Raab was just stupid in accepting the donations," they added.
Leus donated £25,000 to Raab – who is at risk of losing his seat to the Liberal Democrats – in July 2021, back when Raab was foreign secretary. The gifts are the only successful political donations listed to Leus's name by the Electoral Commission.
Raab has been floated as a potential caretaker for the role of prime minister since Boris Johnson announced he would stand aside amid mass ministerial resignations.
A spokesperson for Raab told Insider: "Mr Leus had a wrongful conviction overturned on appeal. Professional due diligence was conducted before accepting the donation. Like all donations it was properly and transparently declared."
But Labour say that Raab's "murky" relationship with Leus risks the UK's national security.
Rachel Hopkins, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, told Insider: "Whether it's the Lebedev's links to Boris Johnson or Dmitry Leus' links to Dominic Raab MP, it's clear for all to see that dodgy Russian money and influence has infiltrated the Conservative Party.
"These murky relationships risk British national security. The prime minister and deputy prime minister cannot be trusted with matters of national security. We need a cast-iron proof that the interests of rich foreign donors to the Conservative Party are not being put before our national interest."
A report by the foreign policy think tank Chatham House contests Leus' claim the conviction was "overturned on appeal", noting that Russian law allows for convictions to be struck out from a record.
Leus also sought to give £100,000 to Prince Charles's foundation, The Sunday Times revealed, in a donation that was returned by the charity's ethics committee citing concerns over the origin of the funds, while hoping to secure a meeting with the future monarch.
Leus's representatives have previously told Insider the Prince's Trust has sent a letter of apology and that the Charity Commission has confirmed no wrongdoing on his part.