Leading Brexit ultra Jacob Rees-Mogg has been exposed profiting from an investment in a sanctioned Russian bank.
Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, has been been the target of tough European and US sanctions since 2014, after Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea, but Somerset Capital Management (SCM), of which Rees-Mogg is a partner, maintains a £60m investment in the company as part of its emerging markets fund, according to Political Scrapbook.
The North East Somerset MP pockets an estimated £14,500 per month for 30 hours work at SCM, alongside his parliamentary salary and generous expenses.
Investment in a sanctions-restricted Russian bank is not illegal, but it raises questions about the current anti-Putin rhetoric employed by Rees-Mogg. In parliament earlier this week, the MP said “tyrants need to be stood up to” and called on Theresa May “to impose a freeze on assets” in the wake of the nerve-agent attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.
It is difficult for the UK and allies to take a tough stance against Putin, when MPs are profiting from investments in companies tied to the Kremlin and Putin’s inner circle. And since 2015 Sberbank’s share price has roughly quadrupled – a very profitable investment for SCM and its partners.