A Russian woman whose family had links to the Kremlin was made a director of the Security Institute, which has close ties to Westminster.
Anastasia Spiridonova, 23, who speaks six languages and is described by several colleagues as ‘exceptionally charming’, is connected to the Putin regime through members of her family. Her grandfather was an MP in Putin’s United Russia party, while her mother Marina worked at the Kremlin in a department running resort hotels and presidential retreats around Russia.
Meanwhile, Ms Spiridonova’s father, Grigory Bryukhov, was once president of Intourist, the privatised successor of the giant Soviet travel agency that was notoriously riddled with KGB spies.
After spending her early years in Moscow, Ms Spiridonova moved to the UK. She was educated at £40,000-a-year Sevenoaks School in Kent and studied modern languages at Stanford University in the US.
She eventually got a job with a detective firm and then joined the Security Institute, but she eventually agreed to step down in June after less than two months.