Since the broadcast of ‘From Russia with cash’ made by channel 4, an MP has listed an Early Day Motion calling on the Land Registry to insist on greater transparency for overseas company purchases of property in London.
The Social Democratic and Labour Party MP for Foyle (Derry City), Mark Durkan, has tabled this motion:
“That this House notes the recent screening of From Russia with Cash on Channel 4; expresses its concern that the proceeds of corruption are being laundered through the London property market via the use of anonymous offshore companies; and recommends that corporate transparency become a Land Registry requirement so that any foreign company intending to hold a property title in the UK is held to the same standards of transparency required of UK registered companies, so preventing London or other locations from becoming a safe haven for the corrupt.”
The motion is supported by a range of MPs, including Peter Bottomley from the Conservatives, Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond and a Labour MP David Lammy.
The Channel 4 programme followed a ‘politician’, supposed to be a Russian government minister in order to see how agents reacted to a plan to use millions of pounds of stolen money to purchase high end property in the capital. The show named Five estate agencies – Winkworth, Marsh & Parsons, Bective Leslie Marsh, Domus Nova and Chard.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Association of Estate Agents have announced they will hold separate investigations into the allegations made in the programme.