The truth about the Russians is that expelling ‘diplomats’ won’t hit them where it hurts. We need to get tough on the oligarchs stashing their dirty money in London properties with the help of offshore tax havens and London-based accountants, lawyers and financial advisers.
Some home truths: Back in 2016 this government tried to privatise the Land Registry to make it even harder to work out who really owns property and is behind offshore shell companies. I fought to save it with unions, Labour colleagues and campaigners.
Just last month the Government halted a Bill Committee when Labour called for new measures to incorporate the Magnitsky Act into British law and give us serious power to crack down on criminals, corruption and dirty money flooding our property market.
Time and time again Labour have tabled amendments calling for greater transparency and to get serious about dirty money. Time and time again the Government have dragged their feet. The huge sums that Russian oligarchs donate is a matter of public record.
So instead of inflammatory remarks by the Defence Secretary can we please get serious, these people treat London like a playground: frozen bank accounts, expelling oligarchs and their ill-gotten gains, crackdown on dodgy accountants and banning offshore shell companies buying up properties.