'We're at the point where we should sanction Putin', Tory MP says

3 September 2020, 20:24 | Updated: 3 September 2020, 20:29

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Tom Tugendhat told LBC sanctions should be used "more actively" to help target individuals who have been "part of Putin's mafia regime".

Speaking to LBC's Iain Dale Tom Tugendhat the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling said it was time to start sanctioning President Putin.

Earlier President Vladimir Putin's spokesman has brushed off allegations that the Kremlin was involved in poisoning the Russian leader's most determined critic, Alexei Navalny.

But Mr Tugendhat told LBC that he thinks the UK should be "stiffer with the sanctions" that are in place.

Referencing the Magnitsky Act the Tory MP said sanctions should be used "more actively" to help target individuals who have been "part of Putin's mafia regime".

On Thursday Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Germany of not providing Moscow with any evidence about the condition of the Russian dissident.

Mr Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator, fell ill on a flight to Moscow on August 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city Omsk.

He has been in an induced coma in a Berlin hospital after being flown from Siberia to Germany for treatment more than a week ago.

When Iain asked what sanctions should be applied that haven't been done so far, and if "Putin himself" should be sanctioned Mr Tugendhat said: "Yes" that we are "exactly at that point".

He added that "Putin's himself is one of the richest men in the world" and "he's stolen off the Russian people and is effectively treating an entire country as his own private fiefdom."

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee said the Uk has a role in the Russian economy with the City of London being a place where "dirty money has been laundered".

When an LBC listener asked why the Conservative Party "enables Russians and takes dirty Russian money" the MP said "you ask a very good question."

Iain Dale said the Conservative had provided a "very enigmatic answer" and said it "sounds as if you rather agree with the questioner."

The MP replied that there was a "real problem" in the UK with the way "we finance politics" adding it was something he thought the country should address.