A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE Tory donor has been revealed as a key figure linked to a major money laundering operation targeted by the National Crime Agency.

A court ruling said that bank records showed that Javad Marandi, who donated £633,800 to the Conservative Party between 2014 and 2020, either owned or was connected to companies involved in a “criminal enterprise” moving vast sums of illicit funds around the world and into this country.

His identity was revealed following a legal challenge from the BBC and Evening Standard.

The revelation prompted an urgent question from SNP MP Alison Thewliss on Tuesday in the House of Commons, to which a minister said the UK Government is committed to making sure there is no “dirty money” in the UK.

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Marandi “vehemently denies any wrongdoing”, a statement issued by his representatives said.

It continued: “At no point has Marandi been investigated or questioned by the authorities.

“And no case has ever been brought against him or his businesses in relation to these or any other matters, anywhere in the world.”

In the Commons, Home Office minister Chris Philp defended safeguards over political donations and said: “The Government is committed to making sure the UK does not have dirty money.”

He also insisted the Government was committed to combat so-called “slapps”, strategic lawsuits against public participation, “where extremely rich individuals use, essentially vexatious or malfeasant lawsuits to shut down proper scrutiny and proper free speech”.

“Clearly in this case the judge decided transparency and the public interest was served by disclosure, and I welcome that.”

Philp said UK electoral law set out a “stringent regime of donations controls to ensure that only those with a legitimate interest can make donations and that those donations are transparent”.

Earlier this month Marandi was described by District Judge John Zani as a “person of importance” in a case which led to forfeiture of £5.6 million from the London bank accounts of three members of the family of Azeri oligarch Javanshir Feyziyev.

Feyziyev was a business associate of the Tory donor and a minority shareholder in Avromed Azerbaijan, a firm in which Marandi acquired a 35% interest in in 2006, before selling in 2017.