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Ten Kent MPs included on list banned for 'whipping up Russophobic hysteria'

Nearly 300 UK MPs, including ten from Kent, have been banned from entering Russia for allegedly "whipping up of Russophobic hysteria".

The Russian foreign ministry announced today it was taking action against 287 members of the House of Commons in response to sanctions against Russian politicians.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

The list includes Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, Gillingham & Rainham MP Reh Chishti, Rochester & Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst, Chatham & Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch, Gravesham MP Adam Holloway, Sittingbourne & Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson, Faversham & Mid Kent MP Helen Whately, Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield, North Thanet MP Roger Gale and South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay.

The latter tweeted: "I’ve been sanctioned by the #Russian government. I wasn’t planning a trip to Moscow anytime soon. Mainly @Conservatives but a few Labour colleagues listed too."

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s department announced the move in response to the UK sanctioning 386 members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, last month.

A translation of a statement reported by state-owned Russian news agency RIA Novosti said the sanctions were being applied “on the basis of reciprocity".

“These persons, who are now banned from entering the Russian Federation, took the most active part in the establishment of anti-Russian sanctions instruments in London (and) contribute to the groundless whipping up of Russophobic hysteria in the UK,” it read.

“The hostile rhetoric and far-fetched accusations coming from the lips of British parliamentarians not only condone the hostile course of London, aimed at demonising our country and its international isolation, but are also used by opponents of a mutually respectful dialogue with Russia to undermine the foundation of bilateral co-operation.”

Reacting to the Russian announcement, Boris Johnson said MPs should regard the sanctions as a 'badge of honour'.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson agreed, and issued a statement saying the sanctions were 'reportedly issued as retaliation for him voting for sanctions against Russia last month'.

Mr Johnson said: “I view this sanctioning as a badge of honour.

"Not only is Vladimir Putin waging an illegal and barbaric war on a sovereign nation, he and his government are ultimately responsible for the atrocities committed by invading Russian forces, against innocent people and attempting to cover up their involvement in these atrocities through disinformation.

"Putin is an evil man running an evil regime and we must do all we can to ensure his attack on Ukraine fails."

He added: “I was proud to vote for sanctions against around 1,400 Russian banks, businesses and individuals including many members of Russian Parliament who voted to recognise the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as a pretext to war.

"Whilst I have no wish to ever travel to Russia whilst it is ruled by Vladimir Putin, I do look forward to one day visiting a free and independent Ukraine, where its people can live safely and without the risk of a bomb destroying their home or being shot as they travel to work.

"We can and must continue do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine and cripple Russia’s economy and war machine.

"I would have no hesitation in voting for further sanctions in future.”

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