UK minister with alleged links to Israeli ‘oligarch’ quits

Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, minister of state for security and counter- terrorism, stepped down at her own request in order to work with private industry.

May 14, 2011 23:28
1 minute read.
Pauline Neville-Jones

Pauline Neville-Jones 311. (photo credit: (


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LONDON – A British cabinet minister who said Israel “had shown the world” how to deal with terrorism while maintaining democracy and who had alleged links to Uzbekistan-born Israeli “oligarch” Michael Cherney has resigned from the government.

According to the government, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, minister of state for security and counter- terrorism, stepped down at her own request in order to work with private industry.

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Speaking in 2008, following a trip to Israel, she said that Britain could learn from Israel on how to handle terrorist threats.

A former head of the UK’s joint intelligence committee, Neville-Jones last year threatened to resign when her appointment to a key cabinet position was blocked after M15 revealed her links to Cherney and another Russian “oligarch,” Dimitry Firtash The UK’s domestic counterintelligence and security agency said in a briefing sent to Prime Minister David Cameron that she had connections to the two billionaires with alleged links to organized crime and a Russian mafia leader, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.

According to a source quoted by the newspaper, “MI5 sent a summary of the intelligence on Neville-Jones’s financial associations with the two oligarchs. Based on that submission and on a separate briefing by his political advisers, Cameron decided not to appoint her.”

Instead Neville-Jones was given the more junior position as minister of state at the Home Office, in charge of security and counter-terrorism.

The demotion was said to have infuriated the former career diplomat, whose career spanned more than 30 years serving in an array of locations including Washington and Bonn.


Prime Minister Cameron last week praised her for helping to ensure the balance between security and liberty and for drawing up the original plans for the National Security Council.

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