COLUMN - Russia’s unprovoked and abhorrent invasion of Ukraine - Holly Lynch MP

Talking Politics from Halifax MP Holly Lynch

By News Room
Friday, 25th March 2022, 2:34 pm

Like the whole of Halifax, I have been horrified by Russia’s unprovoked and abhorrent invasion of Ukraine.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen the very worst of humanity, but we have also seen the very best. I was fortunate to be in Parliament to watch President Zelensky’s address, and to hear from the man who, through his bravery, has led by example and kept the flame of Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy burning in this dark time.

Zelensky has truly reflected the spirit of the Ukrainian people, who in face of sheer barbarity continue to defiantly refuse and fight against Russia’s aggression.

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MP Holly Lynch lights a candle of hope for Ukraine at Halifax Minster

To those members of our community from Ukraine and of Ukrainian heritage here in Halifax - I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through.

I know that you intrinsically feel that Ukraine is your home, but I also hope that you feel that Calderdale is also your home, because I can wholeheartedly say that we are standing with you in solidarity.

I have been immensely proud of how our community has responded to Ukraine’s suffering. I was asked by Reverend Hilary Barber to deliver a guest sermon at the Minster the week of the invasion and lit a candle of hope for the people of Ukraine.

I also attended the vigil for Ukraine organised by the Piece Hall, and have been amazed by the generosity of people donating kilos and kilos of clothes and supplies to Dean Clough, which have been shipped out to Europe thank to the work of the Halifax Ukrainian Club and the Leo Group.

As the Shadow Minister for Security, the situation in Ukraine has also dominated my parliamentary work. I led for Labour’s Home Office team on the emergency legislation needed to deliver further sanctions aimed at grinding Putin’s war machine to a full stop.

The Economic Crime Bill, which was delivered in record time, sought to tighten regulation on kleptocracy and grant the National Crime Agency further powers on unexplained wealth orders. It is hoped that this clampdown will make it harder for Russian oligarchs to hide their wealth in the UK through sheltering illicit money.

For too long, the UK has been a haven for nefarious Russian money, and this Bill will help to cripple Russia’s operations. There will be more of this legislation to come.

The coming weeks and months will be a challenge for the democratic world, and seeking to hold Putin to account for his war crimes will continue to dominate the Parliamentary agenda, but I am proud to say that in every sense, Halifax stands firmly with the people of Ukraine.