'Barber shops are fronts for money laundering drug money' claims Reform UK leader Richard Tice after LBC question

30 May 2024, 13:47 | Updated: 30 May 2024, 13:58

Richard Tice has called for a police crackdown on ‘cash only’ barber shops
Richard Tice has called for a police crackdown on ‘cash only’ barber shops. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Richard Tice has called for a police crackdown on ‘cash only’ barber shops as the Reform UK leader unveiled the party’s immigration policy.

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Asked by LBC’s Henry Riley why the party has an “issue with barber shops” Mr Tice said that he thinks that many shops are just a “front for money laundering drug money.”

Mr Tice said: “You go to towns, and people are saying shop after shop...I don't know, maybe it was Covid, maybe our hair's growing faster, seriously? How come these new barber shops have got no customers in them? How come they all want cash only? I'll tell you what the accusation is.

“The accusation is that these are fronts for money laundering drug money, and someone has to talk about it, and someone has to have the courage to say the authorities, they're either incompetent or don't know about it. We need to do something about it.

He said he would receive messages saying: “I’m in a small market town and there’s five new ones opened in the last 12 months.

“Have you noticed all the candy shops popping up?

“They are fake sweets - I’ve literally gone in to test it. They are disgusting and there’s never any customers in them. It’s a money laundering front.

Read more: Hunt refuses to rule out new taxes but says Tories' 'direction of travel' is lower taxation

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Mr Tice at the Reform UK event with Nigel Farage today
Mr Tice at the Reform UK event with Nigel Farage today. Picture: Alamy

“I’m very happy with my barber but there’s something going on.”

Nigel Farage added: “You can see high streets with five, six, seven barber shops in them! Thousands of new barber shops…”

Mr Tice’s comments come after he made similar claims on social media.

On Wednesday he posted online: “Police & Local Authorities do nothing: unaware & incompetent or aware & corrupt… or just scared.”

He said barbers were popping up “all over the country” and said that “many fear these are fronts for money laundering drug profits.”

At the launch of the party’s immigration policy, Mr Tice said the UK has an "addiction" to "cheap overseas labour".

He said: "This drug is being pushed on every street corner by the Labour Party and by the Tories.

"They believe that this drug, this addiction, is good for the British economy. Let me tell you today it's not."

He added: "What we need is a cure to this addiction and the cure is an employer immigration tax."

Mr Tice said Reform would introduce a premium on national insurance with exemptions, including for healthcare.

Asked whether firms would be rather pay the employer immigration tax than train up workers from scratch, Mr Tice said: "You give businesses the choice, and if that's what they decide to do, great - that's how markets work.

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