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We need to talk about #Russian_Money its Effect On #Farage #Ukip & Democracy …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 07/11/2017

 

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We need to talk about #Russian_Money its Effect On #Farage #Ukip & Democracy …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

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The BLOG:
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.
The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

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.

Hi,

We need to talk about Russian money….

Worldwide
We need to talk about Russian money….
J.J. Patrick photo
One denial from Russian television network RT leaves us with even more questions over Russia’s state influence on UK politics and a trail of Kremlin money. So far, eight public officials are known to have received £9,000 in Russian state funds and Farage is earning a mystery £60,000.

We know that RT is a state actor. A Russian TV channel directly funded by Vladimir Putin, and the content of which is strictly controlled as part of Russia’s foreign office apparatus.

A fee from RT is a direct payment from the Kremlin.

We also know that key UKIP figures including Nigel Farage are tied to the Kremlin but have either denied or declined to respond to questions around being paid to appear on RT. Farage himself was even knighted on Sam Delaney’s News Thing, a flagship show on the channel.

RT responded to questions by saying they did not pay people themselves, but could not answer for independent production companies.

Because of this single, almost uninteresting line of response we can now expose a number of British public officials being paid Kremlin money to assist a state actor, and delve into the changing fortunes of those linked to UKIP.

“In some sense, not having our own foreign broadcasting is the same as not having a ministry of defence. When there is no war, it looks like we don’t need it. However, when there is a war, it is critical…when Russia is at war, we are, of course, on Russia’s side…to make an alternative channel that shares information unavailable elsewhere in order to “conquer the audience” and expose it to Russian state messaging.”

In the words of RT’s Editor-in-Chief, Margarita Simonyan: “In some sense, not having our own foreign broadcasting is the same as not having a ministry of defense [sic]. When there is no war, it looks like we don’t need it. However, when there is a war, it is critical.”
She added that “when Russia is at war, we are, of course, on Russia’s side,” adding that “RT’s goal is “to make an alternative channel that shares information unavailable elsewhere in order to “conquer the audience” and expose it to Russian state messaging.”

RT and Simonyan are closely tied to top Russian Government officials, especially Presidential Administration Deputy Chief of Staff Aleksey Gromov, who reportedly manages political TV coverage in Russia and is one of the founders of RT. Gromov oversees political coverage on TV, and he has periodic meetings with media managers where he shares classified information and discusses their coverage plans.

The Russian Government sets rating and viewership requirements for RT and, since it receives budget from the state, it must complete tasks given by the state. RT news stories are written and edited “to become news” exclusively in RT’s Moscow office.

RT hires or makes contractual agreements with Westerners with views that fit its agenda and airs them on RT. Some hosts and journalists do not present themselves as associated with RT when interviewing people, and many of them have affiliations to other media and activist organizations.

“RT cryptically refer to “independent production companies”, who are of course in turn paid by Russia Today, who are paid by the Kremlin. If you checkout some of the members declared interests and payments at Westminster, you’ll find that anyone who appears on Russia Today receives a payment from a company called: Studio Sixty Billion”

Exploring the extensive and murky ties between UKIP and the Kremlin, questions were put to both Gerard Batten and Nigel Farage, on the topic of direct payments from RT. Batten denied ever having been paid an appearance fee and Farage did not respond.

RT however did respond, saying: “RT never paid either of them for their appearances. We cannot comment on whether any compensation was provided by independent production companies.”

One such production company is Studio Sixty Billion, where RT presenter of the show Sam Delaney’s News Thing is registered as the director.

One researcher in the field contacted Byline after the UKIP article, saying: “RT cryptically refer to “independent production companies”, who are of course in turn paid by Russia Today, who are paid by the Kremlin. If you checkout some of the members declared interests and payments at Westminster, you’ll find that anyone who appears on Russia Today receives a payment from a company called: Studio Sixty Billion, who are based near London bridge/Southwark in London. They seem to be quite fond of promoting the bizarre, chaotic and surreal, there’s some frankly bizarre assange stuff theyve [sic] made. They produce programmes for RT too.”

“Much like the Kremlin does in Russia (hyper-normalisation) to confuse people and make them hanker for stability,” they added.

“Studio Sixty Billion were contacted this morning and were asked if their production budgets came direct from RT for RT content, and if RT had correctly asserted that they as the independent production paid guests as part of that budget allocation. The company spokesperson said: “I’m afraid I can’t help you on this, you’ll have to find that information elsewhere.”

Studio Sixty Billion, previously Studio 60 Billion, is now registered in Borehamwood and was incorporated on the 22nd of July 2015 as a £1 limited company.

It was originally registered at Unit 438, Metal Box Factory in Borough, London, and changed the address in March 2017.

Sam Delaney became sole director in July 2016 and Companies House records show it was set up as a mailbox style company, with Delaney owning £5,000 in shares at the 13th of November 2015.

The company accounts for the period ending in July 2016 show net assets of £187,163 and shareholder’s funds of £218,640, with £5,000 in share capital shown as called up at incorporation – Delaney’s shares.

Overall, the balance sheet is healthy.

Studio Sixty Billion were contacted this morning and were asked if their production budgets came direct from RT for RT content, and if RT had correctly asserted that they as the independent production paid guests as part of that budget allocation. The company spokesperson said: “I’m afraid I can’t help you on this, you’ll have to find that information elsewhere.”

RT do clearly allocate a budget to the shows they produce and broadcast, and their content and finances are directly managed at a state level. Because of international investigations and known facts this means Studio Sixty Billion is acting for the Kremlin to help “conquer the audience and expose it to Russian state messaging.”

This also means the guests are directly exposed to a Kremlin asset and unknown human contacts – potentially from intelligence services, receive funds direct from a state actor, and are assisting the Kremlin with their foreign operations.

“using the search facility within the UK’s Parliament website, it immediately returns other occasions where declared payments from a state actor have been made to serving British officials.”

On a cursory search of the terms “MP register of interests Studio Sixty Billion”, three results immediately appear at the top of the search return.

David Davies, MP for Monmouth, lists two payments from Studio Sixty Billion in his register of financial interests for two appearances on Delaney’s News Thing.

The first declared fee was £750 for an appearance on the 22nd of December 2016, and included off-stage preparation time. The second appearance was on the 22nd of March 2017, again with a fee of £750 and a longer period of ‘preparation time’.

Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley, lists two payments from Studio Sixty Billion in his register of financial interests, also for two appearances, and both paid at £750. On the 17th of November 2016 and the 21st of April 2016, Evans lists the payments as from Delaney’s company but notes the purpose of both as “appearing on ‘Russia Today’.”

Former MP for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk, lists two payments of £750 from Studio Sixty Billion in his own register of interests. Both fees, for appearances on the 10th of October 2016 and the 24th of February 2017, were paid to Danczuk Media Ltd.

In total, this shows £4,500 pounds of directly attributable Kremlin state funds paid direct to British MP’s over the years 2016 to 2017.

However, by using the search facility within the UK’s Parliament website, it immediately returns other occasions where declared payments from a state actor have been made to serving British officials.

“Lord Prescott responded to a query on the declared interests saying: “I’ll have to check with my secretary because they do all this admin stuff. I went on there a couple of times I think but when I found out it was a Russian thing I haven’t been on since.”

Lord Prescott shows an entry in his register which reads: “interest deleted 18/01/2017

Guest on ‘Sam Delaney’s News Thing’ programme for RT UK (26 November 2015); fee and travel expenses paid by Studio Sixty Billion.”

A second entry reads: “Interest deleted 18/01/2017 Guest on ‘Sam Delaney’s News Thing’ programme for RT UK (14 January 2016); fee and travel expenses paid by Studio Sixty Billion.”

A third: “Interest deleted 15/06/2017 Guest on ‘Sam Delaney’s News Thing’ programme for RT UK (3 June 2016), fee, travel and hotel expenses paid by Studio Sixty Billion.”

Rosie Duffy, MP for Canterbury, records: “12 October 2017, received £500 from Russia Today (Studio Sixty Billion, Unit 438, Metal Box Factory, 30 Great Guilford Street, London SE1 0HS) for an appearance on News Thing on 28 July 2017. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 19 October 2017)”

Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golder’s Green, records: “Payments from Studio Sixty Billion, 16 Short’s Gardens, London WC2H 9AU: 4 October 2016, received £1,000 for TV appearance and preparation. Hours: 1.5 hrs. (Registered 06 October 2016)”

Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth, Moor View, records: “16 December 2015, received £1,000 from Studio Sixty Billion, 16 Short Gardens, London WC2H 9AU, for filming of a television programme. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 07 January 2016)”

Above this entry, Mercer records being paid only £600 by the Daily Mail for four hours work, an amount he specifically states was given away to charity.

David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, declares: “Payments from Studio Sixty Billion, 16 Shorts Gardens, London WC2H 9AU: 1 December 2015, received fee of £1,000 for appearance on a TV panel show. Hours 2 hrs. (Registered 07 January 2016)” and “28 January 2016, received fee of £1,000 for appearance on a TV panel show. Hours 2 hrs. (Registered 12 February 2016)”.

During the same period, Lammy was paid between £350 and £500 for appearances of similar duration on the BBC.

Lord Prescott responded to a query on the declared interests saying: “I’ll have to check with my secretary because they do all this admin stuff. I went on there a couple of times I think but when I found out it was a Russian thing I haven’t been on since.”

“They’re all over the world poking their noses in everyone’s business,” he added.

While the exact fees paid to Lord Prescott are unknown, this initial search of parliamentary records shows that 8 British officials have declared payments from a state actor in the last few years, totalling £9,000.

This has also exposed to them a Kremlin-managed environment for a period of time, during which intelligence services were presented with opportunities of physical access to them and their belongings.

“During the 2010 to 2014 period alone, the Guardian have previously documented 17 appearances by Farage on RT, escalating over time. UKIP insiders have alleged he was being paid £2,000 per appearance during this period, which would have totalled £34,000 and would have made up the bulk of his 2014 net assets.”

Danczuk is not the only official to run media payments through a limited company.

Nigel Farage has his own, Thorn In The Side Limited, registered at Companies House.

It is known that Farage has declared his media activities in Europe to bring in over £5,000 since 2010.

While he declined to answer questions as to whether he had been paid by RT, and whether his own appearance fee was £2,000 as alleged by UKIP insiders, the company accounts are revealing.

Farage is the sole director of the company, first registered in 2011 in Essex.

The balance sheet of the first trading year shows a nominal amount of income, which ties into his declaration in the EU parliament register of interests. He held £9,737 cash at the bank in the period ending May 2012 and owed £6,448, leaving him £3,289 in shareholders funds.

By the 31st of May 2013, the accounts were drastically different. Cash at bank had risen to £62,825 and net assets to £41,227.

By the 31 of May 2014, the finances had grown again. Cash at bank stood at £76,945 and net assets to £57,200, while debts had decreased from £21,548 to £19,745.

By 2016, the net assets had risen to £61,871.

During the 2010 to 2014 period alone, the Guardian have previously documented 17 appearances by Farage on RT, escalating over time. UKIP insiders have alleged he was being paid £2,000 per appearance during this period, which would have totalled £34,000 and would have made up the bulk of his 2014 net assets.

In 2014, the Daily Mail briefly pursued an investigation into Nigel Farage’s company, concluding: “by using Thorn In The Side as a personal service company, he will have only paid £9,097.60 in corporation tax, and a further £1,687.50 on a £7,500 he took as a dividend, taxed at 22.5 per cent.

This will have presented a saving of £11,097.93 on an income tax bill. Mr Farage could then draw the money out as income more slowly, limiting his tax liability. He would be taxed on the money when he draws it later.”

“He used to declare outside earnings on his register of members interests for journalism of €500- €1,000 and lecturing fees of €1,001- €5,000 a month. It is not clear what Mr Farage is actually paid for, but he regularly appears on TV and radio and writes in newspapers, although not all publications pay for articles,” they added.

Further examining Farage’s most recent declaration of interests in the EU, dated 2017, shows he has substantial income from two distinct revenue streams.

“This allows us to accurately estimate that Farage has an annual income of at least £180,000 on top his MEP salary and expenses, at least £60,000 of which comes from unknown sources.”

He declares “broadcast contracts” as a level 4 income, meaning they are valued at “more than EUR 10 000 gross a month.” This will include his LBC show and work on Fox News.

Separately, he declares occasional income under the description “Political and current affairs commentator” as a level 3 income, meaning the work is valued “EUR 5001 to EUR 10 000 gross a month”.

This allows us to accurately estimate that Farage has an annual income of at least £180,000 on top his MEP salary and expenses, at least £60,000 of which comes from unknown sources.

As yet, Farage has not responded to questions as to whether he has been paid fees by Studio Sixty Billion, what for, how often, and how much he has earned from them.

“you’re just looking for a fucking smoking gun mate.”

Studio Sixty Billion’s Ben Rigden made a further comment for the company, saying: “I know what you’re up to. We’re contracted to make shows for RT like any other production company would be. We have a budget from RT and we make the show. They don’t have anything to do with our guests or writers.”

When asked about the MP’s declared payments, he said: “Check your OFCOM rules, I don’t have to talk about who we pay or how much. Whether MP’s declare it is their business.”

When asked if he had ever paid Nigel Farage and how much, he said: “We’re just an independent contractor operating within the rules, you’re just looking for a fucking smoking gun mate.”

He was right.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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