Dominatrix-scandal Tory MP could be probed… by spies

Britain's Culture Secretary John Whittingdale © Stefan Wermuth
Amid allegations of relationships with sex workers and letting former Playboy models see confidential papers, the Conservative government’s Culture Secretary John Whittingdale may be probed by intelligence officials over his activities.

Since April 12, Whittingdale, who sits on the cross-party committees for seven countries in the former Soviet bloc, has been dogged by allegations regarding his relationship with a sex worker.

He maintains he did not know the woman’s profession and terminated the relationship when he found out. He has since faced calls from Labour to remove himself from any decisions over press regulation.

Now it has been reported that he could be investigated by the intelligence services over his connections with Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, who has been pursued by the FBI over corruption and bribery allegations.

The Daily Record claims Whittingdale has also accepted overseas trips from the Firtash-backed British Ukrainian Society (BUS).

The paper also said MI5 and MI6 officers are looking into whether foreign intelligence agencies, including Russia’s FSB, had tried to influence the MP.

An anonymous former intelligence officer told the paper that Whittingdale’s “tastes” would be of interest to “hostile intelligence agencies.

“Intelligence officers will be looking to alert local station chiefs to talk to their contacts and make sure there hasn’t been a breach in some way,” he said.

Whittingdale is reported to have had a relationship with Belorussian Natalia Lokhanova, daughter of a former Soviet military officer, four year ago.

Another associate, former model Stephanie Hudson, has since claimed Whittingdale sent her a mobile phone picture of a cabinet meeting in Chequers, the PM’s countryside residence, and let her see sensitive documents.

She told the Record one document had “something about Ofcom,” the media regulator, written on it.

Labour MP Owen Coyle, who originally reported concerns about Whittingdale’s conduct, told the Daily Record on Monday: “Now he’s said to have been breaching security protocol and flashing photos of Chequers as well as allegedly sharing Cabinet documents.

Whittingdale maintains he is innocent of any wrongdoing. On Monday a source close to him told the Herald Scotland: “John is a single man. He is entitled to a private life. This is just tittle-tattle. Stephanie Hudson never had access to government papers.