â€œI hope you can live with your conscienceâ€ – Former Minister castigates David Miliband over Chagos decision
MP for Vauxhall and former Sports Minister Kate Hoey has this weekend added to the growing criticism of David Miliband’s handling of the decision to create a marine protected area in the Chagos islands.
Expressing her dismay at the Foreign Secretary’s statement – which announced the creation of a marine reserve in the Chagos archipelago butÂ disgracefully ignored the plightÂ of the exiledÂ Chagos islanders -Â Ms Hoey said that she was â€œvery, very concerned and indeed angryâ€ at the Foreign Secretaryâ€™s decision,Â adding that she believed Parliament had been brought into â€œdisreputeâ€ through his actions.
Her letter echoes similar protests from Jeremy Corbyn MP and Lord Avebury in pointing out the â€œspecific promisesâ€ given by FCO Minister Ivan Lewis on 10th March that Parliament would be kept fully briefed about any decision to be made about the future of Chagos.
That these promises were broken so soon after they were given beggars belief; for her part, Ms Hoey discloses that the Foreign Secretaryâ€™s duplicity has led her to doubt his commitment to â€œfairness and transparency.”
Ms Hoey goes on to tell Mr Miliband that his decision to exclude the islanders is â€œmorally indefensibleâ€ and â€œdents my confidence in you as a Foreign Secretary.â€
â€œIt is shameful and though you may think that it is only a small matter in the scale of your overall brief â€“ it shows a complete lack of respect and concern for the rights of the islanders and will long be remembered.
I hope you can live with your conscience.â€
These are harsh words from a well-respected Labour Parliamentarian and are an indication of the strength of feeling that exists in support of the Chagossiansâ€™ rights.
Whilst it may be true that the Foreign Office holds all of the cards when it comes to using undemocratic manoeuvring to get its way in the Chagos islands â€“ when forced defend the morality of its actions, it loses every single time.
Thatâ€™s why the UK Governmentâ€™s policy towards Chagos is wrong. And thatâ€™s why it must change.