Kleptoscope 9: Is Britain Doing Enough to Fight Corruption?
Britain plays a central role in the global financial system, for good and ill. Our financial services are a major employer and tax-payer, but they also enable globalised corruption: according to the National Crime Agency, at least 100 billion pounds worth of illicit money flows through our institutions every year. Much of this money is corruptly acquired from some of the world’s poorest countries and, indeed, much of it ends up buying top end real estate, and luxury goods from the London’s finest brokers. Chaired as usual by journalist Oliver Bullough, Kleptoscope 9 will look at what the government is doing about this, and what it should do next.
Since December John Penrose MP has been the government’s anti-corruption champion. Elected for Weston Super Mare in 2005, he drives delivery of Britain’s anti-corruption strategy, and seeks to bolster the nation’s effort against financial crime.
Margaret Hodge MP has become parliament’s most consistent and outspoken opponent of corruption and corporate tax dodging. Elected for Barking in 1994, she served as a minister in Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s governments, before chairing the Public Accounts Committee when it launched ground-breaking investigations into a number of major corporations.
Susan Hawley is policy director at Corruption Watch, having previously worked at the Corner House and Christian Aid. Her investigative work resulted in the conviction of the first British company for overseas corruption in September 2009. Her detailed policy work has resulted in the creation and funding of an overseas corruption police unit and the inclusion of a new corporate offence with regard to overseas bribery in the recent Anti-bribery Act in the UK.