Tory MP Tom Tugendhat has confirmed that U.K. officials and members of the royal family will not be attending the World Cup in Russia when England plays there later this month.
According to the interview with Sky News and reported by the Express, Tom Tugendhat believed a show of U.K. officials or the royal family would be an endorsement of the “murderous” Putin regime.
He stated that any official attendance would “be a political endorsement of the Putin regime,” and added that it “would be particularly unhelpful at this time given that they murdered nearly 300 people by downing an aircraft over Ukraine recently.”
Tugendhat also gave mention of the attempted murder of two people in Salisbury, the attempted murder of the Prime Minister of Montenegro, the invasion of Ukraine, the occupation of Crimea, and the occupation of Georgia as further reasons not to endorse the Putin regime by sending English officials or members of the royal family to the World Cup.
This announcement comes ahead of the recent move by Prime Minister Theresa May to have Russia named as culpable for the attempted murder of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
At her address in the Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May called to “suspend all planned high-level bilateral contacts between the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation.” This move would also include revoking “the invitation to Foreign Minister Lavrov to pay reciprocal visits to the U.K.” In addition, she also suggested, at the time, that there should be no attendance by officials or royal family members at the World Cup in Russia. This final stance by May has now been endorsed by MP Tom Tugendhat in his interview with Sky News.
There has yet to be an official announcement from the royal family on the matter. Although, as the Express points out, previously sources have claimed that Prince William, who is the President of The Football Association (FA), was not planning to attend the World Cup in Russia. These unnamed sources have also stated that other members of the royal family would not be attending either.
Along with the announcement, Prime Minister Theresa May has increased security and checks on private flights, customs, and freight traffic. Her strong stance on the matter has also included a statement in which she said that “there is no place for these people — or their money — in our country.”
The World Cup is being held in Russia this year. England was the “only national team from the U.K” to qualify, according to the Express. The event is due to take place between June 14 and July 15, and while U.K. officials and the royal family are not attending, the English team is still expected to play.