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Vladimir Putin today slapped sanctions on 287 British politicians in tit-for-tat punishment over the UK’s decision to take action against hundreds of Russian politicians last month.
Moscow’s foreign ministry announced it had banned ‘287 members of the House of Commons’ from entering Russia as they had been ‘most active’ in supporting sanctions against the Kremlin.
It accused them of whipping up ‘Russophobic hysteria’ with ‘hostile rhetoric and ‘far-fetched accusations’.
However, the ministry faced immediate embarrassment as it was highlighted how many of the 287 on the list were no longer actually MPs and so do not sit in the Commons, while others had been listed twice in administrative blunders.
This included former Conservative attorney general Dominic Grieve, who lost his seat at the last general election, and ex-Cabinet ministers Justine Greening and Oliver Letwin, who both decided not to stand for re-election in 2019.
Also listed was Charlie Elphicke, who was released from prison last year after his sex assault conviction.
The Kremlin list actually included only 266 sitting MPs, with 18 of those on the list now no longer MPs. Two MPs were listed twice, while one former MP – Mr Grieve – was also duplicated.
There are a total of 650 MPs in the House of Commons.
In a show of defiance against Mr Putin’s regime, a number of MPs mocked the Kremlin’s action today.
Conservative MP Ben Everitt raised the Kremlin’s action at Prime Minister’s Questions and joked that many MPs would not be ‘rushing to change their summer holiday plans’ in the wake of the travel bans.
In his reply, Boris Johnson said – although he did not want to ‘disrespect’ those British politicians who hadn’t been sanctioned – that ‘all those 287 should regard it as a badge of honour’.
‘What we will do is keep up our robust and principled support for the Ukrainian people and their right to protect their lives, their families and to defend themselves,’ he added.
‘That’s what this country is doing and that has the overwhelming support, I think, of the whole House.’
Moscow said it had banned 287 MPs from entering Russia as it accused them of whipping up ‘Russophobic hysteria’ with ‘hostile rhetoric and ‘far-fetched accusations’
Vladimir Putin took the action in tit-for-tat punishment over the UK’s decision to sanction hundreds of Russian politicians last month
Boris Johnson, speaking at PMQs, told those MPs sanctioned by Russia they should ‘regard it as a badge of honour’
Russia’s Foreign Ministry faced immediate embarrassment as it was highlighted how many of the 287 on the list were no longer actually MPs – such as Justine Greening and Dominic Grieve
Labour MP Chris Bryant said he was ‘absolutely distressed’ he was not on the list and ‘slightly surprised’.
‘I can only assume that the Russian Federation accepts that every single thing I have said about President Putin over the last few years is true.
‘He is a barbarous villain and we must make sure that he fails.’
Former Brexit secretary David Davis said: ‘I see I have been sanctioned by the Russian government alongside many of my colleagues in Parliament. How will I ever cope…’
His fellow former Tory minister Shailesh Vara said: ‘I wasn’t planning a visit to Russia, but being put on their banned list will not deter me from speaking out against Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and its barbaric war crimes.’
Conservative backbencher Stephen McPartland vowed to ‘continue my unrelenting support of our Ukrainian allies’, adding: ‘Putin must fail.’
And Harriet Baldwin noted how Mr Putin had ‘taken time out from bombing babies in Ukraine to sanction me and many colleagues’.
Many others expressed their hope they had been included on the foreign ministry’s list.
Conservative backbencher Michael Fabricant posted on Twitter: ‘Hope I’m on it!!!’
And his fellow Tory Chris Clarkson added: ‘Hope I’m on the list! Glory to Ukraine!’
On 11th March, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss sanctioned 386 members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.
It followed their support for the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, which Kremlin-backed rebels have declared as independent territories.
The Duma members were banned by Ms Truss from trevalling to Britain, accessing assets held within the UK or doing business here.
Britain has sanctioned around 1,500 individuals and businesses since Mr Putin began his brutal assault on Ukraine.
In an attempt to cripple Russia’s war machine, the UK has also sanctioned over £900 billion of global assets from banks, and targeted Putin-friendly oligarchs and their families with a net worth of approximately £200 billion.
Source: Daily Mail