A popular UK news website has launched an internal review over its decision to run a flattering anonymous article about BP’s investment in a Russian state-owned oil firm.

The website, the London Economic, is also investigating two other similar cases of alleged ‘reputation laundering’ following an investigation by openDemocracy.

The London Economic claims to be “independent”. It is owned by a venture capital firm and chaired by a former oil and gas executive with links to the Conservative Party, and boasts of promoting a “kinder, more compassionate politics”.

But multiple sources in the PR industry have told openDemocracy they have been involved in paying the London Economic to publish favourable articles about wealthy clients. They said the aim in each case was to “push down” negative publicity on Google rankings.

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