US-Russia sanctions: Theresa May urged to take action against ‘CORRUPT’ Russian money | Politics | News

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Tom Tugendhat, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, welcomed the US sanctions and called on the Prime Minister to tighten her grip on “proxies” laundering money for the Kremlin through London.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday, he said: “The idea we should be trading with Russia, allowing them to launder their money.

“We have to ask ourselves some very serious questions. Whose side are we on?”

The US’s imposition of sanctions was hailed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said: “I wholeheartedly welcome US action.

“Russia’s use of chemical weapons on the streets of Salisbury was reckless, callous and provocative and will not go unchallenged by the international community.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt added: “If we are going to stop chemical and biological weapons, including nerve agents, becoming a new and horrific 21st century norm, states like Russia that use or condone their use need to know there is a price to pay.

“Thank you USA for standing firm with us on this.”

Mr Tugendhat nevertheless questioned whether firm retaliation on behalf of our US counterparts would spur the Government into taking action.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Great news. Now perhaps our own Government will sanction some of the corrupt money flowing through London and the proxies who lauder it for the Putin regime?”

A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office praised the US administration’s actions, but failed to offer further clarity on whether the UK would take further action.

They said: “The strong international response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged.”

Mr Tugendhat subsequently called on the Government to implement stronger controls on banks and organisations acting on behalf of corrupt organisations.

Speaking on the BBC, he said: “Controls apply to banks, to make sure they know where the money is coming from.

“Those controls don’t apply to lawyers, estate agents and many others.

“We’ve got to be very clear that organisations that claim to be regulatory, like the solicitors’ regulatory authority, need to be absolutely robust.

“If solicitors’ firms, instead of supporting the pursuit of justice, actually assist in the whitewashing of crime by finding different ways around the law, then we must be absolutely robust on it.”

The Conservative MP nevertheless raised hope that further action would be taken by the Government following the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.

He said: “I am glad we now have a Foreign Secretary who is able to make relationships without laughing at people.”



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