Security

Revealed: Spy firm’s secret sex dossier on former Tory MP Charlotte Leslie


Concerns about politicians’ security have intensified after details emerged of a sex smear against a female ex-MP recorded by a private intelligence agency.

The Independent can reveal that a secret dossier held by top private spies firm K2 falsely accused ex-Tory MP Charlotte Leslie of carrying out a “sting on six former lovers” to get “money and political support” from them.

K2 also stored information about Conservative grandee Lord Nicholas Soames, grandson of Second World War leader Winston Churchill.

Included in the 50,000-word dossier was an aerial photograph of Ms Leslie’s home, her address, intimate details of her love life, medical history and mortgage, as well as personal details including names and addresses of her partner, elderly parents and other family members.

Speaking to The Independent, the former Bristol MP said she was “disgusted” by the claims which she described as “clearly part of an orchestrated smear campaign” to defame her. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by K2.

A secret dossier held by top private spies firm K2 falsely accused ex-Tory MP Charlotte Leslie of carrying out a ‘sting on six former lovers’

(PA)

“The K2 files are a tissue of lies and smears,” she said. “To say I carried out a sting on ex-lovers to extract money is to accuse me of criminal conduct.

“To dig into my partner’s and family’s personal circumstances, addresses and work – and even our dog – is despicable and alarming. At a time when there is great concern about the threat to politicians’ safety, it is beyond belief that this kind of thing goes on.”

Ms Leslie and Lord Soames – given espionage-style codenames of “Lady” and ‘Knight” – have both been involved in a bitter row with Tory donor Mohamed Amersi.

Telecoms tycoon Mr Amersi was branded a “shady fixer for corrupt politicians” by former cabinet minister Sir David Davis in parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Amersi denied any wrongdoing and invited Sir David to repeat the claims outside the Commons chamber, where he would not have legal immunity.

A legal dispute between Ms Leslie and Mr Amersi arose after she blocked the donor’s bid to take over a Tory group which promotes the party’s Middle East interests.

Telecoms tycoon Mr Amersi was branded a ‘shady fixer for corrupt politicians’ by ex-cabinet minister Sir David Davis in parliament

(Getty Images)

The group is led by Lord Soames who sent a memo about Mr Amersi’s Russian business links, compiled by Ms Leslie, to Conservative HQ in 2021.

The controversial dossier held by global giant K2 – seen by The Independent – describes Ms Leslie as “flirty… a chancer… likes expensive hotel freebies”.

It adds that she is a “compromised figure” who gets cash from oil-rich states to “keep their influence over the UK”.

The file contains photographs and the location of the exclusive Ritz-Carlton villas in Bahrain where it falsely says Ms Leslie stayed in 2016 while on a political trip.

And it implies she did not tell the truth when she denied agreeing to appear on the Celebrity Big Brother TV reality show, stating: “Lady issued a partial denial… leaving open the possibility that she had talks with the producers.”

In fact Ms Leslie, who worked as a “Baywatch” lifeguard in her 20s, says she rejected the offer outright.

The private agents even spied on her pet schnauzer dog, Toby, claiming it was vital evidence of her relationship with her partner. The file contains two photos of Toby, who was involved in a separate alleged threat to Ms Leslie in the Amersi row three years ago.

The private agents even spied on Ms Leslie, who worked as a ‘Baywatch’ lifeguard in her 20s, and her pet Schnauzer dog, Toby

(SWNS)

In addition, the dossier questions remarks made by Middle East expert Lord Soames, a member of the privy council and former defence minister, after a trip to Syria.

The revelation about the existence of the file follows new measures this week to safeguard politicians. Three women MPs have been given bodyguards and chauffeur-driven cars over concerns about their safety.

The Home Office announced a £31m package to boost MPs’ protection following protests linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

And Rishi Sunak called on police to do more to guard MPs at home, while warning that “democracy itself was a target” at a hastily organised press conference in Downing Street on Friday night.

On learning of the K2 dossier, Ms Leslie sought advice from Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism officers who told her how to improve her security.

Mr Amersi, together with Russian-born partner Nadia, has given £750,000 to the Conservatives since 2017. He has given a further £1m to King Charles’ favourite charitable causes, which led to him dining with the then heir to the throne. The philanthropist has defended his donations as “access to capitalism”.

He is referred to at the top of the K2 files, which state: “Parties, Mohamed Amersi v Charlotte Leslie.”

Nadia Amersi with Camilla, then Duchess of Cornwall, and Mohamed Amersi at a National Osteoporosis Society event in London in 2018

(Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for th)

Beneath Mr Amersi’s name, his lawyers are named as Carter-Ruck. Mr Amersi told The Independent he did not ask K2 to investigate Ms Leslie. “I had nothing to do with it at all, I have no idea where it came from,” he said.

Asked if Carter-Ruck commissioned K2, Nigel Tait, the law firm’s managing partner, said: “No, we never instructed them.”

The files start in 2021, the year Mr Amersi began a libel battle against Ms Leslie which was thrown out by the High Court last year.

An extraordinary K2 internal email dated 5 August 2021 says of Ms Leslie: “Playing the flirty Oxford graduate. Potential sources… said he [the individual is not named] had the names of six former lovers of Leslie who were victims of sting operations she had carried out on them. He said what she gets from them is money and political support.”

The identity of the “he” seeking the information is not given, or is redacted.

Another note records that she split from a former partner “while she was in hospital with complications” following surgery. K2 agents appear to be under orders to look for any damaging information about Ms Leslie.

“Search for evidence of her staying/partying in private villa in Bahrain prior to making positive statements about its human rights record in Parliament?” state the files.

She is a “compromised figure… a mediocrity. How much of a chancer is she?” says a note dated August 13 2021. An undated file asks: “Has the Lady done anything outside CMEC [the Conservative Middle East group that Mr Amersi wanted to take over] which evidences misconduct?”

Among the more bizarre entries in the K2 files is a forensic report on Ms Leslie’s dog Toby, which she shares with partner Andy

(Supplied)

One entry says: “Look at that Saudi trip she took, paid for by a benefactor in Riyadh.” Another adds: “Look into this more.’”

Another file says that in 2014 Ms Leslie was “forced to apologise for failing to declare £17,000 in donations. She blamed her dyslexia and was cleared of any wrongdoing”.

The extensive dossier also records that before her dispute with Mr Amersi, Ms Leslie was the subject of two unrelated threats to her and her family.

It recalls that in 2015 anarchists attacked her parents’ house in Bristol, where the then MP lived at weekends. It also notes that in the same year a Muslim convert was jailed for threatening Ms Leslie after a Commons vote on the Middle East.

Among the more bizarre entries in the K2 files is a forensic report on Ms Leslie’s dog Toby, which she shares with partner Andy.

It says: “Since 2020 Lady has posted pictures of her walking and cuddling a white dog. A very similar-looking dog features as her partner’s Twitter profile picture.”

Nigel Tait, managing partner in law firm Carter-Ruck

(Supplied/Getty)

The file duly includes two photographs of Toby. In 2021, shortly after Ms Leslie’s row with Mr Amersi erupted, Toby was at the centre of a separate incident.

Ms Leslie claimed she felt threatened in a series of phone calls from a Tory adviser, Carl Hunter, who offered to mediate between her and Mr Amersi and in one of his calls mentioned her dog.

Urging her to back down in the dispute, ex-army officer Mr Hunter told her: “You need to consider your position, as in being able to walk the dog at night and being able to sleep well at night. You are in the eye of the storm here and it’s you they seem to be after. You’re looking into a world of pain on this. It’s a volcano and he feels he’s got his armoured divisions ready to deploy.”

Mr Hunter denied threatening her and said he was sorry if his “genuine attempt to find a compromise had been misinterpreted”. Mr Amersi said he had nothing to do with Mr Hunter’s phone call.

The Independent contacted K2 for comment. Asked about the dossier, a K2 spokesperson told Channel 4 TV last week: “K2’s work was limited to public information only and no discussions were conducted with external sources including associates of Ms Leslie.

“The comments relating to her were made during the course of initial briefings to K2 employees and not source enquiries.”

The extensive dossier also records that before Ms Leslie’s dispute with Mr Amersi, she was the subject of two unrelated threats to her and her family

(PA)

The controversy over Mr Amersi has been reignited by a new book, Cuckooland, by investigative journalist Tom Burgis, which explores the Tory donor’s business dealings in Russia and his feud with Ms Leslie.

Sir David has accused Mr Amersi’s lawyers in parliament of committing “perjury” in their defence of him – an allegation denied by Carter-Ruck.

When Mr Justice Nicklin dismissed Mr Amersi’s libel case last year he challenged the “exorbitant” sum he had spent pursuing Ms Leslie in court and said taking repeated legal action against an individual could amount to “abusive conduct”. Lord Soames declined to comment.



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