Why doesn’t alleged Boris Johnson “crony” Evgeny Lebedev go to the House of Lords and speak out against Putin? If he wanted to prove his critics wrong, it is time this social butterfly actually turned up in the chamber suggests Matthew Steeples
The Right Honourable The Lord Lebedev of Hampton in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and of Siberia in the Russian Federation – or Evgeny ‘Two Beards’ to his many, many, many, many mates – is an octopus-like man with tentacles everywhere, utterly everywhere.
When he’s not bothering to turn up in the House of Lords (where he’s only bothered to have spoken on one occasion and never bothered to have voted at all since being appointed in November 2020), this crossbench life peer known for being a “Londongrad playboy” is to be found giving parties for Boris Johnson or hanging out in Whitstable, Kent with his mouthy mate Janet Street-Porter.
With homes including a “blacked out Belgravia flat,” Stud House, near Hampton Court Palace and Castello di Santa Eurasia in Umbria, Italy, here is a clearly intelligent man of immense wealth who knows how to ingratiate himself with everyone from rough-and-ready women of the ilk of Tracey Emin, Elizabeth Hurley and Katie Price – who supposedly exposed her breasts at a party with Johnson and called their Russian host “you guv” – to royals including Prince William and his father Prince Charles.
Wolf owning Lebedev – whose ex-billionaire and self-professed “ex-oligarch” father Alexander was a KGB agent in the 1980s and 1990s – is as comfortable sleeping out at a fundraiser for homeless people (with his very close chum Johnson) as he is living it up with Kate Moss and he’s definitely a dark master of the art of self-promotion.
In his quest for that and a position of social standing also, ownership of the Evening Standard – where he gave Boris’ former colleague and backer George Osborne the position of editor between 2017 and 2020 in spite him having no editorial expertise – and associations with luvvies including Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellan most definitely have helped, but it is for his family’s “opaque relationship with Putin” that he is more worthy of note.
Now, as the psychopathic Russian tyrant pounds Ukraine with bombs, Lebedev Jr. has sensibly come out and called for the tyrannical President to “seize the moment” and “end this war” (a clear contrast to his father’s “Putin is not the villain” attitude in 2016), but equally, today, I ask Lord Lebedev: “Why don’t you actually, for once, go to the House of Lords – since you were happy to take a seat there – and speak up and condemn this rotten war in the chamber?”
If he did bother to attend and speak out against Putin, maybe, just maybe people might respect this social butterfly a little bit more; if he doesn’t, it just shows Evgeny Lebedev’s elevation to be what many have quite justifiably called it – a ‘Carrie On’ of yet more corrupt Conservative cronyism.
Pictured top – Left: The life peer – termed a “crucial media player with a very interesting background” and someone “often overlooked” by ‘Byline Times’ in October 2019 – with his “exotic pet” wolf Boris (named not after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but instead after Boris Yeltsin) and right: With the aforementioned PM and his Ghislaine Maxwell apologist sister Rachael Johnson.