London Mayor Sadiq Khan is stepping up the pressure on government to speed up the delivery of a new public register of ‘beneficial ownership’ of property in this country owned by overseas companies.
He says recent statements by government ministers have suggested the launch of such a register could still be three years away, and Khan believes this is not good enough.
Khan cites research by the BBC last month which revealed that 44 per cent of all UK properties owned by overseas companies are located in London.
He wrote to the government last spring backing a call for evidence about the register, initiated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; now, in a follow-up letter, he says he is frustrated at the delay.
Khan claims the government first pledged such a register back in 2013 and says the slow progress has been “bitterly disappointing.”
He continues: “This is completely unacceptable. I urge the government to prioritise the publication of draft legislation and ask the Prime Minister to give it full backing in Parliament. Londoners deserve to know the identity of those that own property in their city, and we have waited long enough for Government to fulfil its commitments.”