Millionaire Tory donor who left Russia for UK compares refugees to insects

A judge ruled that fraud charges against Alexander Temerko in Russia amounted to political persecution

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The Independent Online

A millionaire Tory donor who sought asylum in Britain has compared refugees to insects, while arguing that they should not be allowed to permanently settle in Europe.

Alexander Temerko, the Ukrainian deputy chairman of the OGN Group, is a prolific donor to the Conservative Party, handing over almost £400,000 in under four years.

He has mingled with David Cameron and Boris Johnson, and once paid £90,000 for a bronze bust of the Prime Minister at a Tory fundraising dinner.

Mr Temerko has met David Cameron, Boris Johnson and other senior Tories


In an article for Total Politics, Mr Temerko said the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa should not make a permanent home in Europe.

“The newcomers will require access to education, healthcare and benefits at a level that Europe simply cannot sustain,” he wrote.

“Unfortunately, the reality of life is such that once an anthill has been destroyed, there is no stopping the ants. Having disturbed a vespiary, one cannot hope to remain untouched by wasps.”

Mr Temerko raised concerns that the arrival of autumn storms and rough seas will cause more deaths on voyages to Europe over the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea that will “increase the media pressure on European governments to welcome more migrants”.

He argued that the source of the mass exodus, namely the Syrian civil war, should be tackled and urged the US to join efforts to end the conflict and provide humanitarian aid to Europe’s refugees.

“Migrants have to realise that settling abroad as refugees will not be the answer for everybody,” Mr Temerko wrote.

“Their time in Europe should be seen more as a temporary solution, a stopover on their journey home.”


Mr Temerko was granted British citizenship in 2011 after arriving in the country on an investor visa in 2004.

Russia attempted to have the businessman extradited from the UK in 2005 to face fraud charges but a judge at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court refused it on the ground that Mr Temerko would have a prejudiced trial and be “punished or detained by reasons of his political opinions”.

At least half a million refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year, with more than 2,500 people dying in attempts to reach the continent.

European leaders reached a landmark deal yesterday to relocate 160,000 people across EU states, partly according to national quotas.