Litvinenko Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:43 am on 21st January 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden 11:43 am, 21st January 2016

I thank the Home Secretary for the tenor and thrust of her statement. The magisterial report written by Sir Robert Owen says in paragraph 10.16:

“The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin.”

Given the secrecy of the Russian state, I do not think we need to worry too much about the word “probably”. This is way beyond the normal civil legal requirements and what is needed to take economic, political and diplomatic action. What is certain is that the Russian state under President Putin has killed over 100 opponents—lawyers, accountants, journalists and politicians. It is a kleptocratic state that uses assassination as a policy weapon.

May I ask the Home Secretary what we intend to do about Patrushev and Putin? We cannot tolerate their ordering assassinations on the streets of our country. Will she take targeted economic sanctions against them and, where possible, travel sanctions, although obviously those are not possible with a Head of State? Will there be an expulsion of intelligence officers—both FSB and others—from the Russian embassy, which would be entirely appropriate? It has been asked whether we should encourage our allies to help us. Of course we should, but we should also tell countries such as the Bahamas, Switzerland and Cyprus—all the Russian financial boltholes—that there is no hiding place for the money of these people.