Why isn't the UK Government doing more to sanction Russian oligarchs?

Russia’s Attack on Ukraine
3rd March 2022

Kevin Brennan Labour, Cardiff West
I want to praise the Secretary of State for what she said about our broadcast journalists, and I would perhaps add Channel 4 News and Sky News to the list she gave. I do hope she takes that into account when considering the future of Channel 4. I also want to praise what she said about my hon. Friend Chris Bryant. However, I do recall attending—and history should recall this—the best ever attended all-party parliamentary group meeting in this House when hundreds of her colleagues were mobilised to depose my hon. Friend as the chair of the all-party group on Russia because of his strong views on Vladimir Putin.

Leaving that aside, on the issue of Everton football club, Alisher Usmanov has been sanctioned by the EU for being a pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Does the Secretary of State think it is acceptable that his assets are currently funding Everton football club? 

Nadine Dorries The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
On the hon. Member’s first point, I do not think that my colleagues hit the APPG—

Hon. Members:

They did! 

Nadine Dorries The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Could I just finish the sentence? I do not think that my colleagues hit the APPG because of the views of Chris Bryant on Putin; they did so because they wanted a different chair—and I was not one of them.

I cannot comment on the football club that the hon. Member has mentioned. As he may know, my grandfather was one of the founders of that particular football club. As I have said, we are waiting for the Foreign Office and the sanctions that the Foreign Office is working on. We have reached a turning point in football club ownership in this country, which is why I will use every power I have, in my office and the Department, to ensure that we bring forward a fit and proper person test for football club owners and that we bring forward an independent regulator as soon as possible both to regulate football clubs and to ensure that they have the right ownership in place. It is important that we also protect the viability of those football clubs that are in question at the moment to make sure they remain football clubs and are still there.