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Senior Tory in Zimbabwe share row

BBC News

Senior Tory in Zimbabwe share row

Dominic Grieve

Mr Grieve said he endorsed the view of his party over Zimbabwe

Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve has defended his decision not to give up shares in major firms still operating in Zimbabwe.

Mr Grieve was among seven MPs named by the Independent on Sunday as having investments in the country.

He said the Conservative Party expected firms in Zimbabwe to uphold “the highest ethical standards”.

Tory leader David Cameron previously called on Zimbabwe investors to “examine their own responsibilities”.

Mr Grieve owns at least £240,000 worth of shares in companies operating in the southern African country such as Shell, mining firms Rio Tinto and Anglo American and the Standard Chartered bank.

Mr Cameron, speaking last week, warned that businesses and individuals “must not make investments that prop up the regime”.

Robert Mugabe is expected to be sworn in as the President of Zimbabwe after an election, which drew international condemnation, in which he was the only candidate.

‘Highest standards’

Other firms operating in Zimbabwe in which MPs have shares are Barclays, BP and Tesco.

Mr Grieve said: “The Conservative Party has made it clear that companies operating in Zimbabwe must adhere to the highest ethical standards and I fully endorse that view.”

Shadow transport minister Robert Goodwill, who was also one of the named MPs, told the newspaper that he “did not feel particularly proud to be a Barclays shareholder”.

Mr Goodwill said it was better to bring pressure to bear as a shareholder but added that it was “not a very good time” to sell the shares.

Meanwhile shadow business minister Jonathan Djanogly, who owns shares in Barclays, BP, Shell and Tesco, said shareholders “should be encouraged to make representations”.

Totnes Tory MP Anthony Steen said he was unaware of the Zimbabwe links to his investments in Unilever and Shell.

The other MPs listed were Tories Tim Boswell (Barclays and Tesco) and Sir John Stanley (Shell) and Liberal Democrat MP Sir Robert Smith (Rio Tinto and Shell). 

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