Following the horrific news of Russia invading Ukraine, the chair of Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats, Josh Hadley, has written to Councillor Johar Khan in his capacity as chair of the pension committee to ask that its pension fund divest any shareholding it may have in companies that have invested in Russia.
“In common with so many other local people, I am sickened by what is happening on the streets of Ukraine and our own council’s pension fund should make the feelings of our community clear by divesting any assets it may hold in companies with Russian investments.
“I believe our council’s pension fund should also take a stand, and if it does hold any shares in Russian companies – or those who have invested in Russia - to divest without delay.
“I understand the need to ensure our pension scheme gets a good level of return for its members. As such I am also of the view that the pension fund should be divesting from anything subject to sanctions as it risks that level of return”.
Cllr Joe Harris, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at the Local Government Association said:
“Others have taken action – the Church of England is divesting its £20 million in shareholdings in Russian companies and BP is selling its 19.75% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft, and Shell is divesting from Gazprom. I encourage local government pension schemes to divest any shares they hold”.
Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:
"Vladimir Putin must pay a terrible price for his entirely unprovoked decision to invade Ukraine. We must stand with the people of Ukraine, and enact the most punitive of severe sanctions upon the Russian regime.
"It’s time to end the era of Russian interference in this country. UK companies, public bodies and pension funds should be looking closely at their financial links to Russia and doing the right thing.”
The Liberal Democrats stand with the people of Ukraine as a terrible human tragedy unfolds before our very eyes.— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) February 28, 2022
The UK has a proud history of supporting those forced to flee war and persecution. We must not turn our backs on the people of Ukraine in their hour of need. pic.twitter.com/VIEPv6TRKB