PoliticsHome has got a copy of the frontpage of tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday (click to enlarge). It accuses Dominic Grieve and five other Tory MPs of making a profit from firms dealing with Mugabe’s regime.
Cameron said in PMQs last week that:
"Businesses and individuals that have dealings in Zimbabwe must examine their responsibilities and make sure they do not make investments that prop up the regime."
More to come…
11.30pm BBC update: Grieve owns at least £240,000 worth of shares in companies operating
in Zimbabwe such as Shell, mining firms Rio Tinto
and Anglo American, and the Standard Chartered bank. He said:
"The Conservative Party has made it clear that
companies operating in Zimbabwe must adhere to the highest ethical
standards and I fully endorse that view."
The other MPs are Robert Goodwill, Jonathan Djanogly (Barclays, BP, Shell and Tesco), Anthony Steen (Unilever and Shell), Tim Boswell (Barclays and Tesco) and
Sir John Stanley (Shell), as well as LibDem MP Sir Robert Smith (Rio
Tinto and Shell).
It’s not as bad as the Independent makes it sound. These are major firms that operate around the world and the MPs may well have been unaware of their work in Zimbabwe. It’s also not made clear whether the activities of these companies do "prop up the regime" but if they are found to – or if the Conservatives call for total sanctions – then we’re sure the MPs would either sell their shares or lobby heavily against the companies as shareholders.
12.15am: IoS story now online. It rather disingenously supplements the piece with a list of other "Tory politicians touched by the whiff of sleaze" such as Derek Conway. Its leader also makes the "personal enrichment" connection, whilst expressing regret at Wendy Alexander’s resignation, and calls on the shares to be sold or the MPs to be sacked.