SCOTTISH Labour have proposed a series of measures to combat Russian money and influence in Scotland.

Announced by shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray at their party conference in Glasgow, Scottish Labour have put forward a five-point plan which they argue would increase transparency and prevent Scotland from being used “as a laundromat” for the money of Russian oligarchs.

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The Scottish Labour proposals consist of amending the Economic Crime Bill to backdate its application in Scotland to 2004, and include the reform of Companies House.

This, the party claims, would prevent Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) from being used to hide “dirty money” through opaque ownership structures. Scottish Labour also advocate tightening Crown Office enforcement of SLPs failing to declare their ownership, given that over 17,000 SLPs have failed to file the required reports.

The National:

Murray, who previously served as an election observer in Kyiv, told the conference: "After years of delay, on Monday, the UK Government is finally bringing forward the Economic Crime Bill that will tackle dirty money.

"But as it stands, although the bill will apply retrospectively in England and Wales to 2004, it will only apply from 2014 in Scotland.

"That means if you’ve been found to have laundered Russian money in Scotland, but had the good fortune to do before 2014, you’ll be untouched.”

Elsewhere, the party has called for a full audit of successful ScotWind bidders to ensure no questionable Russian money is involved in the financing of its projects, and new legislation to speed up the implementation of sanctions against Russia.

Murray also argued that Russia must suffer not just financially, “but culturally too.” Lauding the Scottish FA’s decision not to play Russia in any future football match and FIFA’s ban on Russia from competing, Murray called on the Scottish Government to initiate a fan-led review of Scottish football, “including who and how our clubs are owned.”

The National:

Ahead of Murray’s speech, the conference passed a motion expressing solidarity with Ukraine, condemning the Russian invasion and demanding the UK Government take further action to tackle oligarch influence.

Addressing the conference, STUC president Pat Rafferty said: “Our overriding priority at this moment must be solidarity with the people of Ukraine who are subject to this brutal invasion. I want to applaud those workers and members of my own union Unite, who pledged to boycott any Russian owned oil tanker seeking to dock here in Scotland. A true act of international solidarity.

“The Tory party – or should I say the Christmas party – should break all links, including all financial links, with the Russian super-rich, with whom it has been far too close for too many years.”