31 Jul 2020
Labour has stepped up pressure on the government to launch a tougher crackdown on money laundering after the Russia report warned that the City of London was being used as a “laundromat” for illicit funds.
Issuing a warning to Boris Johnson’s government that it could not shrug off the damning intelligence and security committee report, the party called for urgent steps to be taken to clean up business practices and to prevent dirty funds from being recycled in the “London laundromat”.
In a letter to the government, the party demanded that ministers bring forward the 2023 date when UK overseas territories – such as the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands – will be forced to publish public registers of company owners, saying it needed to improve transparency much more quickly.
David Cameron first promised the registers during his premiership, although progress to introduce them has been slow and pushed back to 2023.
Labour also said ministers needed to put in place new powers to target the assets of individuals using the UK to launder money, and that additional funding should be made available to National Crime Agency.
The letter from the shadow Treasury minister, Pat McFadden, and the shadow foreign minister, Catherine West, comes a week after the long-delayed Russia report warned that foreign influence in the UK had become the new normal.
By Richard Partington, The Guardian, 30 July 2020
Read more at The Guardian
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