Kinnock accuses PM of putting Queen in ‘uncomfortable position’
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Labour MP Stephen Kinnock has asked whether Boris Johnson is happy to leave the Queen in an “uncomfortable position” over the UK Government’s position on China’s treatment of the Uighurs in Xinjiang. Mr Kinnock argued in front of Parliament on Friday that the Government’s stance “appeared to endorse a regime responsible for genocide”. The Shadow Foreign Office minister also argued that sending royals to the Beijing Winter Olympics would be a “betrayal of the Uighur people”.
Mr Kinnock pressed the Foreign Office minister Nigel Adams, asking: “Does he think it is right that the Prime Minister is set to put members of the royal family, and by association Her Majesty the Queen, in the uncomfortable position of appearing to endorse a regime that is responsible for genocide?”
Earlier the Labour MP said: “In short, sending royals or officials to Beijing in February would not be fair on those individuals, would not be right for our country, and would be a betrayal of the Uighur people.”
Mr Adams replied: “As the Prime Minister has previously made clear, no decisions have yet been made about UK Government attendance at those Winter Olympics in Beijing.”
The minister also insisted that “robust action” had already been taken against China, including sanctions and measures to ensure British companies and their supply chains were not “complicit” in Chinese government actions in Xinjiang.
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Earlier this month Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy urged the Royal Family and Government ministers to snub the 2022 Olympics in China.
The Labour MP said: “We have consistently pressed the Government for more robust actions to address this appalling situation, including more extensive sanctions against senior officials responsible for what is taking place in Xinjiang and more robust measures against forced labour.
“We are now calling on you to use the occasion of the Games to press the case for unfettered UN access to Xinjiang to conduct a full, transparent and independent investigation.
“This has been repeatedly sought by the UK and other governments but has not yet been realised.
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“If this is not granted, the UK Government should not send ministers, Royal Family members or senior representatives to participate in any official duties or ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics.”
However such calls were slammed by British Olympian Sharron Davies who argued that athletes not competing in Beijing would do little to pressure China.
Last week Sharron Davies told GB News: “I mean it is very difficult, isn’t it.
“I was involved in the 76′ Olympics obviously the 1980 Olympics and the obviously the 1984 Olympics as well were blighted with boycotts.
“And basically they don’t work.
“That is the whole point of this is that we are trying to do something to put pressure on the Chinese and I don’t think that using sport is the thing that will work.”
“I mean I think the UN needs to grow some teeth for starters and it has done so for a very long time,” she added, “And I think that all of us can make a difference.”
“Why don’t we hit China where it hurts most which is in our buying power and have sanctions with trade rather than asking our athletes to give up something that they’ve worked for for a very long time.”
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