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Terrorist Finance

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Gordon Brown): Last week's attack on London was an affront to all democracies. Just as there should be no safe haven for those who perpetrate terrorism, so there should no hiding place for those who finance terrorism. To deliver this requires action in the UK, across Europe and globally.

Within the UK

Blocking terrorists' access to the financial system is a critical preventive measure; and freezing funds already in the system prevents those funds being used to perpetrate atrocities. In the UK, our financial institutions have to date frozen over £370,000 in forty five accounts. In order better to integrate efforts within the UK to disrupt terrorist finance, I can announce that the Treasury has established an inter-departmental asset freezing working group to identify and vet appropriate targets for asset freezing action under Treasury powers.

While four years ago just 30,000 reports of suspicious transactions relating to terrorist financing and money laundering were sent to the National Criminal Intelligence Service, last year 150,000 suspicious transaction reports were made. Of those relating to terrorist finance, between 20 to 30 per cent. subsequently either led to a longer-term investigation, or contributed substantially to an existing investigation. It is essential that the suspicious transactions regime be both proportionate and effective. The Home Secretary and I have asked Sir Stephen Lander to report by March 2006 on how these investigations of suspicious transactions can be best pursued under the new Serious and Organised Crime Agency.

I am today making £20 million available from the Reserve to the Home Office for the exceptional costs of support to victims and of policing and other activities arising from the attacks in London on 7 July. The help for victims will include money for compensation through the criminal injuries compensation scheme and funds to cover the donation to the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund which the Home Secretary announced yesterday.

European agenda

Last week, European Finance Ministers reaffirmed that there will no hiding place for those who finance terrorism. Europe has found common cause in our shared battle against terrorism.
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As EU president, we will work closely with all member states, the Commission, European Parliament and the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator to implement the action plan against terrorism we agreed after the Madrid bombings.


In order to make our fight against terrorist finance as global as the threat of terrorism itself, I have asked that international cooperation be redoubled:

We will report back to the House on our efforts to safeguard the financial system from abuse by terrorists and other criminals at the time of the pre-Budget report.

International Monetary Fund

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Gordon Brown): I am today publishing the sixth annual report to Parliament on UK operations at the IMF, "A Stronger Global Economy—The UK and the IMF 2004–05". Copies are available in the Library of the House.


Family Proceedings

The Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Ms Harriet Harman): My noble Friend the Baroness Ashton of Upholland, Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State, has made the following written ministerial statement in the other place today:

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Gulf Veterans

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Don Touhig): As part of the Government's continuing commitment to investigate Gulf veterans' illnesses openly and honestly, data on the mortality of veterans of the 1990–91 Gulf conflict are regularly published. The most recent figures for the period 1 April 1991 to 30 June 2005, were published on 14 July 2005 as a National Statistic on the Defence Analytical Services Agency website.
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The data for Gulf veterans are compared to that of a control group known as the "Era cohort" which is made up of armed forces personnel of a similar profile in terms of gender, service, regular/reservists status and rank, who were not deployed to the Gulf. The "Era" group has been adjusted for a small difference in the age-profile of those aged 40 years and over, to ensure appropriate comparisons.

Key points to note in the data are:

These statistics continue to confirm that UK veterans of the 1990–91 Gulf conflict do not suffer an excess of overall mortality compared with service personnel that did not deploy.

I will place copies of the full Notice in the Library of the House and it can also be viewed at

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