HIGH PEAK CONSERVATIVE MP ROBERT LARGAN VOTES AGAINST MEASURES FOR COMPREHENSIVE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS
Yesterday, the Economic Crime Bill came back to the House of Commons. The bill should make it more difficult for corrupt individuals to launder money through the UK.
If you’re interested, here’s a good explainer:
This bill has already been delayed by the government for some years. Now, the urgent need to sanction Russian oligarchs with property in the UK means that it is being rushed through parliament with no time for proper scrutiny.
In its current form, the bill also contains some alarming loopholes, which Labour wants to shut down:
- The bill establishes a new register of foreign owners of UK property, which will be held by Companies House. However, Companies House needs to have the power to check and remove false information, otherwise it will be useless. Tameside Labour MP Jonny Reynolds introduced an amendment to give Companies House those powers.
- Enforcement agencies (such as the National Economic Crime Centre) need to be properly funded. Currently, they are so badly resourced that they cannot even implement the existing laws properly. Last night, Labour asked the government to commit to reporting on their funding.
- A person being sanctioned should not be able to sell their assets or move them out of the UK. But the bill does not currently prevent this. It is such a glaring omission that Conservative MP David Davis proposed an amendment to correct it.
If these (and other) loopholes were closed, it would be much easier for us to inflict genuinely painful sanctions against Russian oligarchs. It would also crack down on the billions of pounds of dirty money that are laundered through the UK every year.
On Monday night, Robert Largan (along with most Conservative MPs) voted to keep all these loopholes open. Every single one of them.
Why doesn’t he want to sanction Russian oligarchs properly? Let us know by commenting on Facebook, or send us a message using the form on our contact page.