A CLIP of Boris Johnson appearing uncomfortable and shifty while facing questions on Russia’s influence on UK politics has resurfaced on social media in the wake of scrutiny over Kremlin-linked donations to his party.

The footage from November 2017, when Johnson was foreign secretary in Theresa May’s government, shows Labour MP Chris Bryant asking Johnson whether he has seen evidence of Russian influence on British referendums or elections.

READ MORE: What are the UK Conservative Party's links to Russian money and who are the donors?

“I haven’t seen any evidence of that,” he says while looking towards his colleague sitting beside him.

“I can confirm to you Mr Bryant that I don’t think … no, I haven’t seen, not a sausage, niet.”

Bryant then asked if he believed the Kremlin had “sought” to play a role in referendums or elections.

Johnson then says: “I don’t know about sought to play, but as far as I know they have played no role.”

In 2020, a delayed report from the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) found that the UK Government should have recognised the threat that Russia would seek to influence voters “as early as 2014”, when the Scottish independence referendum took place.

ISC members said there were many Russians with “very close links” to Putin who are “well integrated into the UK business and social scene”.

They warned that building links with Russian companies and “welcoming oligarchs with open arms” had been “counter-productive” and led to “illicit finance” flowing through London – dubbed a money “laundromat” and “Londongrad”.

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Such is the integration of Russian influence, particularly in the capital, that the British Government’s actions to tackle it would not be “preventative” but rather represent “damage limitation”.

The ISC also warned that the UK Government has “badly underestimated” the response needed to the threat from Russia and is still “playing catch-up”.

It claimed responsibility for defending the UK’s democratic processes from interference is being treated like a “hot potato” by organisations in the country’s wider intelligence community.

Following publication of the report, Johnson, who was then Prime Minister, said there was no country in the western more vigilant in protecting the interests of this country or the international community from Russian interference”.

In recent weeks, the Tories have been urged to give donations received from Kremlin-linked figures to Ukrainian humanitarian causes.

Lubov Chernukhin, whose husband Vladimir Chernukhin served as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deputy finance minister before moving to the UK in 2004, has given more than £2 million to the Conservative Party since 2016.

Figures released by the Electoral Commission on Wednesday show Chernukhin donated another £80,250 to the party in the final months of 2021.

The Tories have previously defended taking money from Chernukhin and there is no suggestion that she and her husband’s wealth is illegitimate.

Chernukhin is entitled to donate to UK political parties as she is a British citizen.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “The Government’s dangerous links to Putin’s cronies must be rooted out.

“If this Government is serious about taking the toughest measures to eradicate Putin’s influence in Britain, they must first get their own house in order.”

Meanwhile on Friday, a Ukrainian MP said the country feels “abandoned by the West” as she condemned the response of the UK and US to the Russian invasion.

Inna Sovsun, deputy leader of the Holos Party, said the rollout of sanctions on Russia is not at “the same speed as the rollout of the atrocities of the war”.

“Right now, there is this feeling of betrayal… and we do feel abandoned by the West,” the 37-year-old said.

“We are extremely disappointed with both the UK Government and the American government… we were hoping for the sanctions to be more rapid and more overwhelming.

“Not a single pound should be going into Russia right now – they will be using that to buy weapons with which they will continue to be killing Ukrainians.

“The rollout of sanctions isn’t on the same speed as the rollout of the atrocities of the war that (Vladimir) Putin launched against us.”