Keir Starmer and Piers Morgan among new list of Britons banned from Russia

Keir Starmer and Piers Morgan among new list of Britons banned from Russia

Politicians, businesspeople and journalists barred as Russia seeks to control narrative on Ukraine invasion

The Labour party leader, Keir Starmer, and Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary

Russia has banned 39 senior British politicians, businesspeople and journalists from entering the country, including the Labour party leader, Keir Starmer, the former prime minister David Cameron and the presenter Piers Morgan.

“It was decided to include on the Russian ‘stop list’ a number of British politicians, businessmen and journalists who contribute to London’s hostile course aimed at the demonising of our country and contributing to its international isolation,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement published on its website on Monday.

“Given London’s destructive drive to spin the sanctions flywheel on far-fetched and absurd pretexts, work on expanding the Russian stop list will continue,” the ministry added.

The shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, and the shadow levelling up secretary, Lisa Nandy, are also on the list.

The journalists banned include the Guardian’s defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, as well as British journalists working for the BBC, the Sunday Times, the Economist, the Daily Telegraph and Sky News.

Moscow banned dozens of British journalists, media figures and defence figures from entering the country in June in what the foreign ministry said was a response to western sanctions and the “spreading of false information about Russia”. In total, more than 200 Britons, including most of the country’s leading politicians, are banned from entering the country.

Russia has launched an unprecedented crackdown on Russian and foreign independent news outlets since its 24 February invasion of Ukraine, as well as on foreign social media networks. Legislation was introduced soon after the war began to criminalise media outlets that disseminate “false information” about the Russian army. Russia has already barred dozens of US and Canadian officials and journalists from entering.

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A number of media groups have stopped operating in Russia as a result, with the far-reaching law in effect threatening to punish independent journalism with prison sentences of up to 15 years.

Russia has also blocked access to several foreign news organisations’ websites, including the BBC and Deutsche Welle.

In a separate move, the Russian ministry of justice on Monday labelled the British-based Calvert 22 cultural foundation as an “undesirable organisation”, effectively criminalising its operation in Russia.

“It has been established that its activity poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation,” it said in a statement.

Calvert 22 was established in London in 2009 by the Russian-born economist Nonna Materkova and focuses on arts and culture in Russia and eastern Europe.