Kick out Putin’s golden visa cronies, say Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have said Putin’s cronies who have previously been granted golden visas should have them revoked and be kicked out of the country.

It comes after the home secretary Priti Patel confirmed today the golden visas scheme will be scrapped and that a Home Office review on the issue that ministers have been sitting on since 2018 will be published “in due course.”

The review examines those golden visas which were issued between 2008 and April 2015, and is reportedly reviewing more than 6,000 golden visas for national security risks – over half of all those issued during this period.

The Liberal Democrats have said the review must be published immediately and that all visas held by individuals flagged as a national security risk should be cancelled with immediate effect, with a wider review into those who came here on these visas but now have claimed UK citizenship.

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran MP said: “Shutting the door to Putin’s cronies is not enough – too many of them have already walked through it with virtually no questions asked.

“The Government must immediately publish the long overdue report into those who currently hold and came here on these visas. It’s time to kick out associates of the Kremlin who have used golden visas to launder their dirty money, and reputations, in our country.

“Over the last six months, the Government has repeatedly said that this review is being ‘finalised’ but even now won’t give a clear timeline for when it will be published.

“It makes a mockery of their promises to stand up to Putin’s aggression, when they are doing nothing to stop his cronies who are right now stashing their dirty money on our shores and claiming UK citizenship.”

The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Nationality and Borders bill in the House of Lords which would compel Ministers to publish a report into golden visa holders that ministers have been sat on for four years.

The report was commissioned in the wake of the Salisbury poisonings in 2018, but is still yet to be published nearly four years on.