Chelsea owner Abramovich has been named among “Putin’s enablers” and the decision could affect Club’s ownership.
On Tuesday, British MPs named Abramovich as one of 35 oligarchs identified by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as “major supporters” of President Vladimir Putin’s “kleptocracy.”
After documents linking him to Vladimir Putin and ‘public involvement with corrupt behavior and practices’ were revealed in the Commons, a Labour MP has called for Roman Abromivich to be stripped of his Chelsea football club.
Chelsea owner Abramovich has come under the spotlight in recent days as Russia prepared and then launched an attack on Ukraine.
Abramovich has denied any ties to the Kremlin and insists he has done nothing to justify sanctions, despite accusations that he has virtually been forbidden from ever returning to the United Kingdom.
And on Thursday, Labour MP Chris Bryant used parliamentary privilege to share a leaked Home Office document in the Commons to further increase scrutiny on Abramovich.
He questioned why no action had been taken against the 55-year-old based on the warnings in the document from 2019.
The Rhondda MP and former minister said: “I have got hold of a leaked document from 2019 from the Home Office which says in relation to Mr Abramovich – ‘As part of HMG’s Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices.
‘”‘An example of this is Abramovich admitting in court proceedings that he paid for political influence.
“‘Therefore HMG is focused on ensuring that individuals linked to to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal, including immigration powers to prevent this”.
“That is nearly three years ago and yet remarkably little has been done in relation. Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152million home? And making sure that other people who have had Tier 1 Visas like this are not engaged in malign activity?”
Replying to Mr Bryant, Commons Leader Mark Spencer replied: “He will know under the sanctions passed in the House this week there is the opportunity for the Government to take very strong action against high-profile Russian individuals who are of concern.
“He will be aware that the Home Secretary will be at this despatch box next Monday for Home Office questions and I am sure he will be able to challenge her directly.”