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Spy aide probe MP hails Russia 2018

An MP whose assistant is accused of spying for Moscow has congratulated Russia on its successful bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Liberal Democrat backbencher Mike Hancock urged supporters of England's failed bid to stop "whingeing and moaning" about Fifa's decision.

His intervention in the row over the World Cup comes as his Russian connections are under intense scrutiny since the arrest of his assistant, Ekaterina Zatuliveter.

She is suspected of being a Russian spy - a claim she denies - and is being held in an immigration detention centre.

Russian diplomats are pressing the Foreign Office and Home Office for information about why she is being held.

Mr Hancock has seconded an early day motion in the Commons congratulating Russia on its success last week - and Qatar for its winning bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

The motion urges people involved in England's bid to show "a little humility" and "good grace" instead of "continually whingeing and moaning about the unfairness of Fifa and the bidding process".

It adds that English football authorities are "only too willing to sanction takeovers of English clubs by billionaire Russian oligarchs and Arab sheikhs and yet are condescendingly dismissive of Russia and Qatar's abilities to host football World Cups".

The motion was tabled by Labour's Roger Godsiff.

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