'Not acceptable': Speaker puts foot down to block Chinese from entering Parliament

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The Chinese delegation that was supposed to pay their respect to the Queen at the lying-in-state was banned after several British MPs were sanctioned by Beijing for criticising alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang. China denies any such abuses.

However, BBC’s journalist Laura Kuenssberg reported that Conservative heavyweight Iain Duncan Smith expressed anger in The Telegraph that some members of the Chinese delegation have been allowed to pay their respects at the lying-in-state.

The Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle was “relent” on letting people from the Chinese delegation from coming. 

Asked to clarify what happened, Speaker Sir Lindsay told Laura Kuenssberg’s Sunday BBC show: “I can say nobody has been leaning on me at all – far from it.”

“My view remains the same that we would not welcome a reception in Parliament and that’s when I stopped the Ambassador and the accredited Chinese from coming into the House of Commons”, the Speaker said.

“So let’s be clear: to hold a reception in the House of Commons when MPs and a peer have been sanctioned is not acceptable.

“My view remains the same and nothing has changed. 

“This is not about the politics of the moment. This is about the grief that we all share, rather than being overshadowed.”

“But as I said and I repeat again: the sanction against those accredited officials remains in place and will remain so. There is a very easy answer: lift the sanctions, we can then look to see whether we should have a reception in Parliament.

“But this will not happen at the moment.”

Conservative heavyweight Sir Iain Duncan Smith was firmly opposed to their visit over the sanctions imposed by Xi Jinping’s regime over what they described as “lies and disinformation” about human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

In piece titled “Tories accuse ‘Establishement’ of ‘knowtowing’ to Chinese leaders” on The Telegraph, the former Conservative leader among other senior Conservative MPs said “enormous pressure was used to let leader attend Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state.”


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