Salisbury Incident

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:42 pm on 12th September 2018.

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Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 1:42 pm, 12th September 2018

No, I am going to move on.

We introduced many provisions in the Criminal Finances Act 2017. They included asset-freezing orders, of which we have used many, and unexplained wealth orders, which we used within six weeks against what I shall describe as an overseas individual—obviously the court decides how much I can tell hon. Members about individuals—and there are more in the pipeline. I know that Members are impatient to know why we cannot just issue lots of unexplained wealth orders. The simple reason is that the provision became law at the beginning of this year. We used it very quickly and we have to work it through the judiciary. At the high end, the oligarchs and their type use lawyers, and lots of them, to test these things. The wheels grind and there are more orders in the pipeline, but we have to ensure that this is tested, that the judiciary gets used to it and that we learn from the first use—which, by the way, has gone well to date.