East Herts Labour Group Leader challenges Council on taxpayer money invested in Qatar National Bank
The Leader of the Labour Group on East Herts District Council today (Wednesday 16th November) challenged the Conservative administration on taxpayer money invested in Qatar’s National Bank (QNB). An investigation by the Guardian revealed that East Herts was one of at least 27 local authorities to have invested more than a combined £1 billion in QNB since 2017, with East Herts depositing around £80 million.
It raises new questions over East Herts’ financial strategy and how it may conflict with policies on equality and diversity. The upcoming football World Cup has brought fresh scrutiny on longstanding human rights abuses in the host nation, particularly around the treatment of LGBTQ+ fans.
“Residents in East Herts will be very concerned to read that their Council Tax money is being held by a bank sustaining a regime accused of human rights abuses against women, the LGBTQ+ community, and migrant workers,” Councillor Carolyn Redfern said. “They expect their money to be handled sensibly and ethically, and rightly want answers as to how this was allowed to happen.”
“I am raising questions with the Conservative administration on East Herts Council to confirm whether any consideration was given to the ethics of these investments, if East Herts has now pulled their funds from Qatar’s National Bank, and if they have not done so to confirm when they plan to do so.”
“A Labour controlled East Herts District Council would ensure that residents’ money is invested ethically by divesting funds from Qatar’s National Bank, updating the Council’s equality and diversity policies, and reviewing other such investments and deposits to ensure they comply with those policies.”