A TOTAL of 287 MPs – including six from Somerset – have been banned from entering Russia after they were accused of “whipping up Russophobic hysteria”.

Russia’s foreign ministry announced the sanctions against 213 Conservatives and 74 Labour MPs yesterday (Wednesday, April 27). 

The MPs sanctioned by Russia include:

  • Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane, parliamentary under secretary of state for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
  • Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset)
  • Marcus Fysh (Yeovil)
  • David Warburton (Somerton and Frome)
  • John Penrose (Weston-super-Mare, prime minister’s anti-corruption champion)
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset, minister for Brexit opportunities and Government efficiency)

Armed forces minister and Wells MP James Heappey – who recently said it is “entirely legitimate” for Ukraine to carry out strikes within Russia to disrupt its supply lines – was not included in the list.

Boris Johnson said during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday that the MPs sanctioned “should regard it as a badge of honour”.

He added: “What we will do is keep up our robust and principled support for the Ukrainian people and their right to protect their lives, their families, and to defend themselves.”

Tory former chief whip Mark Harper said he is “proud” to be included in the list of sanctioned MPs, while former Brexit secretary David Davis joked: “How will I ever cope?”.

The Russian foreign ministry’s announcement said the sanctions were imposed in response to the UK Government’s decision to sanction 386 members of the Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) on March 11.

A translation of the Russian foreign ministry statement said the sanctions were applied “on the basis of reciprocity”.

It added: “These persons, who are no longer allowed to enter 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.

“The hostile rhetoric and far-fetched accusations coming from the mouths 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 mutually respectful dialogue with Russia to undermine the foundation of bilateral co-operation.”

The UK Government sanctioned the 386 Russian politicians last month because of “their support for the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk”.

The sanctions banned them from travelling to the UK and doing business here.

They also prevented them from accessing assets they hold in the UK.

British foreign secretary Liz Truss said at the time: “We’re targeting those complicit in Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and those who support this barbaric war.

“We will not let up the pressure and will continue to tighten the screw on the Russian economy through sanctions.

“Together with our allies, we stand firmly beside our Ukrainian friends.”