Local Councillor Responds To 'Pro Putin' Allegations
Robert Oulds says Sunday Times article was 'hysterical journalism'
Local councillor Robert Oulds has responded to claims made in a Sunday Times article that he and another Conservative Party member were funded on a tour of Ukraine by a pro-Putin group. The trip was for journalists and bloggers.
The Sunday Times said in its article that an investigation had established "that Russian expenses for trips have been granted to the leaders of organisations linked to two towering figures in the Conservative Party.
It said; "Robert Oulds, director of the Bruges Group — whose founder and first president was Margaret Thatcher — toured the Kremlin-funded “Donetsk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine.
A video from the trip published by the Bruges Group, sees Robert Oulds state that the EU has ' blundered' into the Ukraine crisis. The video was published in March 2014 and interviews Lord Tebbit, Bernard Jenkin MP, John Redwood and Peter Bone MP.
In a statement to chiswickw4.com Cllr Oulds said: "The hysterical reporting took comments by me from several years ago and repackaged them and then took them out of context both historical and in relation to the points I was, many years ago, trying to explore. Most of which had already been reported in the UK media ranging from the BBC to the Telegraph. As such the story does not even constitute news. Nothing was new in it.
He said that the trip was one for journalists and bloggers from a variety of countries.
Cllr Oulds said "People far more prominent and prestigious than I, ranging from respected British journalists and Parliamentarians, have made similar comments, indeed I drew on their research. To dredge up this old analysis now, and repackage it, is bizarre. There was no attempt at a genuine exploration of the historical issues which I discussed in the past.
"The article was full of insinuation and the journalism was so shoddy that it was a misrepresentation of my positions on these complex issues. The report on my media activity was laden with insinuation, I sort to explore and properly understand failures in our foreign policy, and to find solutions, to their sometimes-tragic results."
Cllr Oulds who is a councillor for Chiswick Homefields since 2002, is a former chairman of the Chiswick Area Forum. He spoke in favour of the UK leaving the EU at a number of Brexit meetings in W4. He is a military historian and a Treasurer of the Chiswick branch of the Royal British Legion.
The issue is also discussed in an article in the Calgacus website which describes itself as an international network of authentic anti-EU activists