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17th Mar 2022

British people should stop giving ‘blood and rape money’ to Marks and Spencer, says Ukrainian MPs

Ava Evans

‘This isn’t just food this is blood and rape food’

Four Ukrainian MPs have called on the British public to boycott Marks and Spencer after the supermarket chain refused to withdraw their business from Russia. 

Speaking during a visit to the Houses of Parliament on Thursday, the MPs said money earned in Russia was being used to fuel the invasion of Ukraine. 

“Every ruble they make goes to the army and Russian soldiers,” said Alona Shkrum, MP for the Batkivschyna party. 

Maria Mezentseva, MP for Servant of the People Party, said everything paid into M&S in Russia, was coming back in “bloody bullets” to Ukrainian people. 

Holos Party MP and co-chair of UK-Ukraine friendship Group, Lesia Vasylenko, described it as “blood and rape” money. 

Their host, Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton, Alicia Kearns, said “this isn’t just food this is blood and rape food,” playing on the supermarket’s infamous slogan. 

Marks and Spencer say it is unable to close its 48 stores in Russia due to complex legal arrangements with local owners.

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, M&S said the issue lay with franchise shops – which have been operated by Turkish company FiBA. They have held the rights to use the name, brand, and sell its products since 1999.

However, the supermarket chain said it was “absolutely committed” to the humanitarian cause in Ukraine and has pledged more than £1.5million to support refugees and 20,000 coats and thermals to people that have fled their homes.

The four visiting MPs are expected to meet with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Boris Johnson later today, before traveling back to Kyiv.

Earlier on Thursday, they met with Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove, who is leading on the repatriation scheme for Ukrainian refugees.

While all men under 60 are currently unable to leave Ukraine, the women were permitted to leave by the Ukrainian Speaker of the House.

Marks & Spencer has been contacted for comment.

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