Boris, the Lord & the Russian Spy: Dispatches

Channel 4

For the first time, Dispatches tells the full story of Boris Johnson’s 14-year friendship with press baron Evgeny Lebedev and his former KGB spy father, Alexander.  With exclusive interviews and sources speaking for the first time the film will reveal how Boris Johnson ignored the advice of both Britain’s security services and the House of Lords Appointments Commission to force through Evgeny Lebedev’s peerage, becoming the first Prime Minister to overrule intelligence advice related to our national security for a parliamentary nomination. It is “dangerous” sources say,  “makes a mockery of our whole parliamentary structure” and put Boris Johnson himself “in a direct line of being able to be influenced and compromised”.

With access to leaked documents and exclusive interviews with intelligence officials and senior political figures here and abroad, the film reveals the secret fears of our security services, and those of our NATO allies, about the influence of the Lebedevs since their purchase of major British newspapers in 2009. It also reveals concerns about Alexander Lebedev’s potential ongoing connections to people at the heart of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin and within Russia’s intelligence services – leading to him being sanctioned in both Canada and Ukraine. But not in Britain.