International human rights groups have raised questions over the source of lucrative funds received by Labour MP Rushanara Ali. Rushanara has taken home £10,000 in advance payment from Bindmans LLP for her role in an inquiry into the treatment of an opposition activist in Kazakhstan. Robert Buckland, Andrew Mitchell and former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald are also involved in the inquiry, though yet to record payment. It’s a lucrative gig for Ali, no doubt secured by her record on human rights…
The trouble is, beyond the fact this cash came from a big money law firm, we know very little about the origin of Rushanara’s remuneration. A partner at the firm, Tayab Ali, was asked to give assurances that the money didn’t come from “a Politically Exposed Person” or criminal activity. All he could say was:
“I am not able to tell you who pays for the work we are doing and I want to expand on that. As we all experienced in this trip here, this is a very sensitive inquiry and there are potential serious risks to those involved in the inquiry and for that reason for the time being the decision was made to protect the individuals by not revealing who they were.”
So much for transparency.
In a social media post, Lyudmyla Kozlovska – head of the human rights NGO Open Democracy Foundation, pointed to links between Tayab Ali and Bergey Ryskaliyev (a Kazakh expat sentenced to 17 years in prison for corruption) and raised questions of the inquiry’s funding. Is Rushanara raking in kleptocrat cash?