Legatum founder Christopher Chandler has lashed out at an MP for accusing him of links to Russian intelligence. The Kiwi tycoon challenged his accuser to make the ‘proof’ public – outside the protection of parliamentary privilege.
The Legatum Institute – Brexiteers’ think tank of choice – has been at the center of explosive claims during a debate in the House of Commons that its New Zealand-born, Monaco-based founder Chandler had ties to Russian intelligence.
Conservative MP Bob Seely told parliamentarians: “According to the French security services as recorded by their colleagues in Monaco, and clearly I am confident that these documents are genuine, Mr Chandler is described as having been ‘an object of interest to the DST [French security service] since 2002 on suspicion of working for the Russian intelligence services’.”
The Legatum founder has denied the accusations and challenged Seely to make the documents, which apparently ‘prove’ his involvement with Russian intelligence, public. In his piece for the Times, Chandler called “on these MPs to provide us with their “secret” dossier so that the issues can be properly addressed and truth can prevail.”
“The substance of their statements is untrue,” the billionaire said. “I am not and never have been associated with the Russian state in any capacity. There is no evidence to support claims to the contrary.
“The MP’s unspecified allegations of wrongdoing are being based on a discredited report from 16 years ago. They have refused to release the report to me. Calling for a response while hiding the document at issue is patently dishonest. Impugning my reputation while hiding behind parliamentary privilege shows the lack of confidence which they have in their claims.”
“By using the floor of parliament to make defamatory, untrue and damaging statements, these MPs degrade public discourse and undermine the democracy they purport to be protecting.”
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