Prominent Putin critic Bill Browder attacks the UK Government over its response to the Skripal poisoning last March.
Members of the House of Lords have received money from Russia in order to block sanctions, the prominent Kremlin critic has alleged during testimony to a committee of MPs.
Mr Bill Browder (the head of Hermitage Capital) appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee (on Wednesday 13th February).
He is tracing the proceeds from an alleged $230m Russian tax fraud, advocates a complete ban on politicians lobbying for foreign governments or against sanctions.
“There are members of the House of Lords who have received money from Russian individuals; there are former government officials and advisers to the government who have received money from Russia in order to assist in blocking sanctions,” Mr Browder, who is US-born, said during his testimony.
Watch Bill Browder’s statement on this topic from 02:42
Mr Browder said he had evidence that members of the House of Lords were in the pay of Russian companies to block the enforcement of new powers enabling the UK to sanction people who commit gross human-rights violations. Mr Browder said he would provide written evidence to the committee to substantiate his allegations.
Mr Browder was cautioned against naming under parliamentary privilege individuals with no right of reply but he went on to cite the US case of Greg Barker, the former Conservative energy minister who is the chairman of EN+, the London-listed holding company once controlled by Oleg Deripaska, the oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
Watch Bill Browder’s statement on Lord Barker from 05:59
Watch Bill Browder’s statement on Lord Goldsmith from 19:14
Owing to Mr Browder, Britain and Russia are discussing the prospect of replacing the diplomats that were expelled from the UK after the Salisbury Novichok attack.
Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the novichok in Salisbury.
Mother of three Dawn Sturgess also died in July who was later exposed to the same nerve agent.