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21 Mar, 2018 11:16

Jacob Rees-Mogg blasted as ‘hypocritical’ as more details of Russian investment revealed

Jacob Rees-Mogg blasted as ‘hypocritical’ as more details of Russian investment revealed

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been accused of hypocrisy after details of Russian profits from his fund-management firm were revealed. The Tory MP had said that Russia should be “hit financially” over the Skripal poisoning.

Rees-Mogg is a co-founder, director and shareholder of Somerset Capital Management (SCM) – an investment management firm which specializes in emerging markets. SCM confirmed it runs a fund with a stake worth up to £60 million ($84 million) in Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank. The MP profits from the bank – through his position as a shareholder – that has been a target of EU sanctions since 2014.

The news sparked outrage on social media, with users racing to blast the Conservative as “hypocritical” and "arguably the stupidest man in parliament.”

The Guardian columnist Owen Jones, among others, attacked the MP:

It comes after the North East Somerset MP called on Prime Minister Theresa May to impose tougher sanctions on the Kremlin following allegations of its “culpability” in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia earlier this month. Taking a dig at Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said in the Commons last week that “tyrants need to be stood up to.”

“I encourage her to impose a freeze on assets, so that people do not have the opportunity of taking them out of the country in the short term,” he added.

READ MORE: Jacob Rees-Mogg wants Moscow ‘hit financially’… despite links to £100mn invested in Russia

As a partner of SCM, Rees-Mogg is eligible to receive dividends from the firm, although there is no requirement to disclose this on the register of member’s interests. He reportedly earns £14,500 ($20,400) a month for 30 hours work there.

The discrepancy between Rees-Mogg’s political positions and the work of SCM have previously come under fire. The MP has been a consistent opponent to abortion, even in the case of rape, while SCM invested £5 million ($7 million) in an Indonesian pharmaceutical company, Kalbe Farma, which makes stomach-ulcer pills that are also widely used to trigger terminations in the south-east Asian country, where abortion is illegal.

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