My statement published on 24 February 2022:
“We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people who have shown incredible dignity and resilience throughout Putin’s aggression. This is an tyrannical assault on democracy and the UK must work with international allies to respond immediately with the severest sanctions, ending Putin’s influence in the UK and urgent humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people.
Throughout my time in Labour’s shadow Foreign Office team, I have consistently made the case to the government that our ability to stand up to President Putin and deter Russian aggression is hampered by the failure to fully implement the findings of Parliament’s Russia Report and clean up our financial sector from the dark money propping up the Russian regime.
Nearly two years after the publication of the report we are still waiting for key measures to be introduced, including the reform of Companies House and a overhaul of our cyber security. It’s not good enough. I’ll keep pressing the government to implement the findings and ensure we are not a weak link in the international community standing up to President Putin.
Catherine West MP
Watch my speech in Parliament on the UK’s relationship with Russia and China:
Statement from Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party:
“Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is unprovoked and unjustifiable. His actions will have horrendous and tragic consequences that will echo throughout the world and throughout history.
All those who believe in the triumph of democracy over dictatorship, good over evil, freedom over the jackboot of tyranny must now support the Ukrainian people. They have been cast onto the frontline of a war, simply for existing.
There can be no space for equivocation when faced with the evil that Putin has unleashed. His actions pose a grave threat to the international order on which we all depend.
There will be dark days ahead. But Putin will learn the same lesson as Europe’s tyrants of the last century: that the resolve of the world is harder than he imagines and the desire for liberty burns stronger than ever. The light will prevail.
I know people in this country will be feeling worried and uncertain. And I know that Ukrainians and Russians here in the U.K. will be worrying for friends and family back home. Our hearts are with them today.
We must now match our rhetoric with action. We must urgently reinforce our NATO allies. The hardest possible sanctions must be taken against all those linked to Putin. The influence of Russian money must be extricated from the U.K.
And those who have for too long turned a blind eye to Russia’s actions must reckon with their own consciences.”
Read the joint letter from Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy MP and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves MP to the Foreign Secretary and Chancellor on the Ukraine crisis and illicit finance.