Russian spy tried to recruit MP and uncover nuclear secrets over pint in pub

A Tory party chairman has claimed that he thinks a Russian agent tried to recruit him over a pint of lager in a London pub.

The new cabinet minister has said that he met Alexander Kashitsyn at a Conservative party event in 2004 after he had introduced himself as a Russian Embassy worker.

At the time of the alleged tap-up in Seven Stars, Fulham, Greg Hands had been seeking election for the area.

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He also revealed that Mr Kashitsyn tried to obtain secret information about Iran's nuclear programme during their whilst at the London pub, before the future PM, Boris Johnson would later speak at the event.

Mr Hands who took over Nadhim Zahawi's role this week said: "First he'd said he wanted to talk about street-sweeping cleaning or bin collection.

He continued: "'Then suddenly he asked me to get him a document about the Iranian nuclear programme from the House of Commons Library.'

Mr Hands said he declined to help, adding: 'I was very suspicious.

'I thought he was a Russian intelligence officer getting a soon-to-be British Member of Parliament to do something for the Russian state.

'This is sometimes a sort of a classic kind of… a sort of espionage technique.

'You get somebody to steal something or get you a document that is easy to get – not that you need the document – but the idea is to test somebody's willingness to do something for you that's essentially what the technique is.'

He also revealed that two years later MI5 officers said that his number was found on the phone of a Russian intelligence operative.

Greg Hands claim is one of a number in the new expose that also looks at suggestions that Tory activists went to a strip club in Moscow as part of a Russian intelligence operation that allegedly sought to collect material on yet-to-be political leaders.

Channel 4 said that the Russian Embassy declined to comment on the allegations made in their documentary.

The new documentary Strippers, Spies And Russian Money: Dispatches will air on Sunday (February 12) at 10pm on Channel 4.


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