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Economic Crime

Volume 712: debated on Monday 25 April 2022

Tackling economic crime is a key Government priority. We have expedited legislation—the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022—to crack down on Russian dirty money and corrupt elites in the UK. We have also set up a new dedicated kleptocracy cell in the National Crime Agency to target sanctions evasion and corrupt assets hidden in the UK.

I thank the Minister for that answer. GPT Special Project Management was fined roughly £28 million by Southwark Crown Court last year for bribery offences. The key whistleblower in that case was my constituent, Ian Foxley. He has had 11 years without a single penny in income because he blew that whistle, as nobody will employ him now, of course. Does my right hon. Friend agree that if we want to crack economic crime, we must incentivise whistleblowers to come forward, and protect them when they do? Will he listen carefully what my hon. Friend the Member for Cheadle (Mary Robinson) says tomorrow in introducing her 10-minute rule Bill, when she will set out the case for whistleblower reform?

My hon. Friend is right about the value of whistleblowers, who should be able to come forward without fear of recrimination. We have continued to improve the whistleblowing framework, including by extending eligibility for protections and introducing a reporting requirement for prescribed persons—the bodies to whom people can make a whistleblowing disclosure. My hon. Friend has campaigned consistently on this matter and is expert in it, and I am keen to meet him to discuss his points further.