The Guardian on 9th July reported on an open letter to the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has about 80 signatories including the son of the murdered anti-corruption reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia and journalists from the Guardian, Times and BBC. Updates to the beneficial ownership register in the light of the 5th Money Laundering Directive include proposals published by HM Treasury this year that journalists and researchers will have to present evidence of wrongdoing before accessing the register. The letter argues that by submitting evidence to HMRC to determine whether access to the register should be granted, it is possible that HMRC could initiate an investigation, which can often take many years, during which time it is unlikely that any journalism or research could be published. The signatories are also concerned by the negative connotations that the UK government attached to journalists and researchers using the transparency created by the legislation to make “speculative enquiries”.
This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y