The four-yearly sporting extravaganza is due to kick off in Moscow on June 14 – but there is a “growing appetite” for a mass boycott after the Sergei Skripal poisoning
The entire World Cup should be postponed until 2019 and moved out of Russia, an MP declared today.
The four-yearly sporting extravaganza is due to kick off in Moscow on June 14, and is expected to be used by Vladimir Putin as a massive PR opportunity for his country.
But Labour’s Stephen Kinnock said Fifa should be asked if it is appropriate after ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury.
Mr Kinnock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think we should seriously consider making a co-ordinated approach to Fifa and talk about moving the World Cup to 2019 and have it hosted in another country or countries.
“Putin has invested billions of roubles in the World Cup and sees it as an opportunity to showcase his regime to the world.”
There is a “growing appetite” for a mass boycott of the World Cup in the summer, another Labour MP said.
John Woodcock said: “I don’t want to see anyone dictated to and I am not calling for England to unilaterally withdraw from the tournament.
“But there is a growing appetite among MPs to push for concerted international action over the World Cup.
“It should be on the table because of the appalling magnitude of what Russia has done.”
Labour’s frontbench said last week it would be the wrong approach for the Three Lions team to boycott the tournament.
The party has however supported Theresa May’s decision to stop ministers and the Royal Family from going as part of a wide-ranging diplomatic crackdown.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin continued to consider how to respond to Mrs May after the largest expulsion of diplomats since the Cold War was announced.
Speaking at an event in Moscow on Thursday night, Vladimir Putin said Russia was a “proud” nation “and will be in the future, too”.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned Moscow will expel British diplomats “soon” and suggested that the “provocation with Skripal” was an attempt to distract attention from the Brexit process.
Sergei Lavrov also condemned Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson for saying Russia should “go away and shut up”, sniping: “Maybe he lacks education.”
Separately, Jeremy Corbyn saw another senior Shadow Cabinet member take a swipe at him by giving unqualified support to Theresa May’s approach to the Salisbury spy poisoning.
Sir Keir Starmer told BBC1’s Question Time: “I think it is very important that we support the action the Prime Minister laid out on Wednesday as a response to this unprovoked attack.
“This is not the first time, it needs to be called out – no ifs and no buts – and we need strong action as set out by the Prime Minister on Wednesday.”
Mr Corbyn made a new appeal last night to prevent a “new cold war” with Russia as he claimed the nerve agent attack may have been by the Mafia.
A new poll shows the majority of the British public believe the Prime Minister has handled the crisis well.
The YouGov survey shows 53% of people think Mrs May responded well, 23% think she responded badly and 24% don’t know.
By comparison, 18% think Jeremy Corbyn responded well, 39% think he responded badly and 43% don’t know.