Welcome

We are a group of UK Parliamentarians passionate about tackling domestic and international corruption.

The effects of corruption are profound, impacting the lives of both UK and global citizens.   This is why we believe we must play our part in tackling this issue and in ensuring that the UK is not complicit in corruption.

If you would like to know more about the APPG, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Transparency and anti-corruption: a multi-jurisdictional approach – APPG Officers meet a delegation from The Republic of Panama

On 12 September 2016, Officers of the APPG on Anti-Corruption met with a Panamanian delegation including the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Panamanian Ambassador to London. Catherine McKinnell MP, Baroness Stern, Lord Rooker, Pauline Latham MP and Byron Davies MP attended as Officers of the APPG on Anti-Corruption.

panama-meeting-12092106http://www.anticorruptionappg.org/

The meeting provided an opportunity for face to face discussion about the multi-jurisdictional nature of transparency and anti-corruption efforts. No country can address the facilitation of corruption and tax evasion without consensus and cooperation from other governments. In addition, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasised that the report of the Panamanian Independent Committee on financial reform, instituted in response to the Panama Papers, will be made public.

Recognising that many companies exposed by the Panama Papers were incorporated in a British Overseas Territory, and the interaction with UK advisors by Mossack Fonseca, the APPG on Anti-Corruption voiced their support for the Panamanian government’s efforts to improve transparency in the Panamanian financial and legal systems. The Officers also highlighted the anticipated Criminal Finance Bill as a current opportunity for the UK government to strengthen its own anti-corruption efforts.

In light of the Criminal Finance Bill the APPG on Anti-Corruption continues to call for an end to financial secrecy in British Overseas Territories and calls for legislation covering corporate liability to extend beyond bribery alone and cover other economic crime.

 

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MPs welcome Criminal Finances Bill, call for government to hold strong and redouble focus on Overseas Territories

A Criminal Finances Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech today. According to the government, the Bill will include: measures to reform proceeds of crime legislation to allow the Government to recoup more illicit income; a new criminal offence for corporations that fail to stop staff facilitating tax evasion; and new rules to toughen the UK’s anti-money laundering regime.

Following last week’s Anti-Corruption Summit, the legislation is intended to cement the UK’s leading role in the fight against international corruption, and crack down on money laundering and people profiting from crime.

Nigel Mills MP and Catherine McKinnell MP, co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption, said:

We applaud the ambition of the Criminal Finances Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech, and urge the government to resist any attempt by vested interests to water down measures to tackle economic crime.

In the last session we saw the effectiveness of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime – a key accountability measure recommended by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards – weakened as the Bank of England Act made its way through Parliament.

This cannot happen again.

The APPG on Anti-Corruption is committed to scrutinising the draft legislation and will not hesitate to call the government to account if it backtracks on today’s announcements.

We welcome the measures proposed today, but, as we have said on numerous occasions, when territories under UK authority are left free to give safe harbour to anonymous companies, then our other achievements and credibility are threatened.

To ensure the effectiveness of today’s proposals we need to see an end to financial secrecy in the Overseas Territories.

Once again, we urge the Prime Minister to redouble his efforts to ensure the Territories meet his ‘gold standard’ for public registers, or risk seeing his government’s new anti-corruption legislation undermined before it even becomes law.

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Anti-Corruption Summit reaction: MPs call on PM to ‘strain every sinew’ to achieve transparency in the Overseas Territories

In a statement following the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Summit, APPG co-Chairs Catherine McKinnell MP and Nigel Mills MP, said:

Last week, we said that the Prime Minister’s Summit will only succeed if he tackles head on money-laundering in the City of London and secures commitments from the British Overseas Territories to introduce public registers of beneficial ownership, which strip companies of the secrecy that allows them to hide the proceeds of crime and corruption offshore.

Following the Summit’s announcements, we look forward to seeing ownership transparency in the UK property market and integrated into public procurement. We now need to see the new ‘failure to prevent’ offence, which we have long called for, applied to all forms of economic crime and corruption if it is to properly hold companies to account.

We regret that the British Overseas Territories have failed to follow the UK’s lead to end the financial secrecy which is so valuable to the world’s corrupt.

When territories under UK authority are left free to give safe harbour to anonymous corporations, then our achievements and credibility in the global anti-corruption movement are threatened.

We need to see an end to secrecy in the Overseas Territories and urge the Prime Minister to strain every sinew to ensure Territories meet his ‘gold standard’ for public registers, otherwise the Summit’s achievements risk being undermined.

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International parliamentarians call on PM to push for financial transparency in the OTs

This morning, senior MPs from the APPG on Anti-Corruption, the APPG on Responsible Taxation, and leaders from African, Oceanian, and the Caribbean regions of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) united in calling for the Prime Minister to announce public registers of beneficial ownership in the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies at tomorrow’s Anti-Corruption Summit.

Catherine McKinnell MP, Nigel Mills MP, the Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP, and Rt Hon David Davis MP, and Akaash Maharaj, CEO of GOPAC said:

We respectfully submit that if territories under British authority are left free to give safe harbour to publicly anonymous corporations, then Britain’s achievements and credibility in the global anti-corruption movement will be undermined.”

The full letter can be read here.

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APPGs debate Anti-Corruption Summit

Senior members of the APPG on Anti-Corruption and the APPG on Responsible Taxation have called on the Prime Minister to commit to his pledge to “lead by example” and clarify his policies to combat tax evasion and corruption.

On Tuesday 3 May the Groups secured a parliamentary debate to consider the Anti-Corruption Summit to and compel Cabinet Office Ministers to set out their ambitions. As no details of the summit agenda or attendees have yet been made available to Parliament, this debate pushed the Government to reveal what will be negotiated next month.

APPG on Responsible Tax chair, Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP has said:

“The government seems to be all talk and no action. I sincerely hope that this half hearted approach to tackling tax evasion and corruption does not set the precedent for the entire summit.

“It is ironic that an Anti-Corruption Summit lacks transparency. We therefore feel it is appropriate for the agenda and attendees to be publicised. We hope that this debate will encourage the Prime Minister to open up the lines of communication with the public.”

Co-chair of APPG on Anti-Corruption, Catherine McKinnell MP added:

“The upcoming international anti-corruption summit presents an extraordinary and rare opportunity for world leaders, business and civil society to agree on specific, concrete steps to advance the fight against all forms of corruption.

With so little known so far about the summit, today’s debate provides a vital opportunity for Parliamentarians to understand how ministers will make good on their promises to tackle financial crime, corruption in sport and corporate secrecy.

Given the Prime Minister has pledged to ‘lead by example’, I have been clear that UK law needs reforming so that corporates can be held criminally liable for acts of economic crime such as fraud or money laundering.

Our law enforcement agencies agree this is a necessary tool to effectively tackle corruption, and I will be pressing ministers on this today.”
APPG on Anti-Corruption co-chair, Nigel Mills MP added:

“As the Prime Minister said last year, “corruption is one of the greatest enemies of progress in our time”: bribes, tax evasion, and grand corruption destabilise development, keep vulnerable people in poverty, add significantly to the cost of doing business, and fund terror.

Action to force a global step-change is vital, and it is right for the UK to take the lead at the Prime Minister’s International Anti-Corruption Summit.

However, the Summit will only succeed if we robustly address money-laundering in the City of London and secure commitments from the British Overseas Territories to introduce public registers of beneficial ownership to strip companies of the secrecy that allows them to hide the proceeds of crime and corruption offshore.

This debate will drive home the importance of getting our backyard in order if we are to be a credible leader on international anti-corruption on 12 May.”
This debate follows an open letter to the Prime Minister, which was jointly written by the APPGs. The letter urged the Prime Minister to ensure the participation of the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies in the Summit and encouraged him re-double his efforts to persuade the jurisdictions to adopt public registers of beneficial ownership.

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