The Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group has reformed for the next Parliament. Below the latest appointments are listed and a summary of their first meeting is provided. Thanks to David Snoxell, who continues as the group's voluntary coordinator, for the below summary. The Chagos Islands (BIOT) All-party Parliamentary Group held its 76th meeting and first meeting of the new Parliament on 29 January. The following officers were re-elected: Hon President, Jeremy Corbyn
On Wednesday 3 July there will be a short Westminster Hall debate on the future of the Chagos Islands. SNP MP Patrick Grady - also Vice-Chair of the Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group - is leading the debate, which will last half an hour and begins at 4:00PM. The debate is formally titled 'UK General Assembly resolution on the future of the Chagos Islands,' and so will most likely focus on the reaction to the recent UN General Assembly vote that advised the UK to g
The UK government has confirmed that it does not agree with the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) verdict in the recent Chagos Islands case, brought by the Mauritian government. In a written statement issued to Parliament on 30 April, Foreign Office Ministers Sir Alan Duncan and Lord Ahmed told the House of Commons and House of Lords respectively that Ministers "do not recognise" Mauritius' sovereignty claim over the Chagos Islands. The Ministers emphasised again that th
In the last month MPs have asked a series of questions related to the Chagossian fight for justice. Representatives from the Conservative, Labour and Scottish National parties have spoken out in favour of Chagossians’ interests, emphasising the cross-party support for the community. Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry asked the Foreign Secretary in a Written Parliamentary Question “what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the citizenship stat
The Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group held it's latest meeting this week. Thanks as ever are due to Coordinator David Snoxell for providing the below summary of the group's discussion. The meeting also served as the Group's Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will be the last before Parliament's summer recess. The Chagos Islands (BIOT) All-Party Parliamentary Group held its tenth AGM and 69th meeting on 13 June. Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected Hon President; Andrew Rosin
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson answered a question in Parliament about the government's treatment of the Chagossian people this week, pledging to be "as humane as we can possibly be" and recognising their "justified complaints." He was speaking in response to a question from Labour MP Catherine West, a former shadow Foreign Minister and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Chagos Islands. Her question was "Will the Foreign Office review its current position
Watch Henry Smith MP's speech in full here: 12.31 http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/98024bf1-c1bb-46ba-a26a-701142587345 Or read it here in Hansard: https://goo.gl/uWhdYx Today, Henry Smith passed a motion in parliament which, if passed, will allow descendants of native Chagossians to receive British Overseas Territory Citizenship (BOTC) status. Prior to this, the overly complex and unfair nationality law made it difficult for second and later generations born in exile
On 16 January, Henry Smith MP will present a Bill to Parliament which, if successful, would allow descendants from people born on the Chagos Islands to register as a British Overseas Territory Citizen - a status all Chagossians would have today if they had been born on the islands. Just like those born on other British Overseas Territories like the Falkland Islands, Bermuda or Gibraltar. Can you ask your MP to back this bill? Use our template letter (Word document download) t
This month Chagossian supporters have been raising the fight for justice in Parliament. Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary group member and shadow Labour Education Minister Mike Kane asked Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson about Chagossians future following the recent UN vote on the Chagos Islands. The UN General Assembly voted to refer the UK to the International Court of Justice over a sovereignty dispute over the Chagos Islands with Mauritius. Mr Kane urged the Foreign S
The Chagos Islands and their exiled people have featured notably in Parliamentary proceedings over the past week or so. Firstly the government issued a statement in the reaction to the UN General Assembly vote to refer the UK to International Court of Justice. In a written statement, Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan said the UK would "robustly" defend its sovereignty over the Chagos Islands. The statement also referenced the Chagossian people, stating that: "The UN Res
Ministers have made fresh comments on Chagossian access to their homeland in recent weeks. In response to a Written Question from Lord Ramsbotham, Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay said it was "unlikely that approval would be granted... for an civilian aircraft carrying visitors to the Island." This was in response to a question asking whether the UK government could charter a plane to support Chagossians to visit and work in the Chagos Islands. The question and answer
You can read the full debate on Theyworkforyou.comTo back Chagossian return, sign up for our free 'Thunderclap,' where over 100 people will be able to post to social media at once. Thunderclap is a great way to make the government take notice of the growing demand for Chagossian return. Tobias Ellwood, a Government Foreign Office Minister, has pledged that a decision on Chagossian return was expected “before the end of the year,” during a well-attended Westminster Hall debate
The question of Chagossian return was raised in Parliament today, as UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that "it will now fall to the next Prime Minister to make a decision [on whether to back Chagossian return]." Mr Hammond was responding to SNP MP Alan Brown's question, asked Mr Hammond to advise the new Prime Minister of the recent Supreme Court verdict which stated it may be "irrational, unreasonable or disproportionate" to deny Chagossians the right to return.
A new motion has been launched in Parliament calling on the UK Government to back Chagossians long-running struggle to return to their homeland. The cross party motion already has 47 signatures, with members from all parties in the Westminster Parliament adding their names. Please ask your MP to sign the motion now. No matter who they are or what party they are in, please ask. You can write to your MP asking they sign Early Day Motion 79 on your behalf quickly and simply thro
Ministers were answering fresh questions about the future of the Chagos Islands in Parliament this week. Labour MP Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak) asked Minister James Duddridge very directly “What the Government's policy is on the future of the Chagos Islands?” A good question indeed, but unsurprisingly it received a familiar answer. “The Government concluded an independent feasibility study in February 2015, and carried out a twelve week public consultation, the result
There's been a lot of action around Chagossian return in Parliament recently, with Henry Smith MP raising the matter with the Prime Minister in PMQs. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Chagos Islands has also been privileged to get a new member, Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, who has been very busy pressing the Government to commit to finally delivering Chagossian return without further delay.
Foreign Office Ministers were first asked by Mr Godsi
Yesterday in Parliament the Prime Minister was directly challenged to end Chagossian exile, and raise the issue with his US President Barack Obama on his upcoming state visit. See right for a (slightly low-quality) recording of the Prime Minister's comments. Henry Smith, MP for Crawley and Vice-Chair of the Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group, spoke up during Prime Minister’s Questions to ask David Cameron to “raise the case for US support for Chagossian return.” He
A Young Fabian’s meeting last night (19th April 2016) on British Overseas Territories gave our Secretary Martin Stanley and Chairperson Stefan Donnelly a chance to speak up for Chagossians’ wishing to return to their homeland. The Chagos Islands, which are formally known as the British Indian Ocean Territory, remain a British Overseas Territory. Unlike all other Overseas Territories, however, the native population was removed as part of a deal which led to the construction of
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Minister Catherine West today (12th April) spoke up to back Chagossian return to their homeland, as party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn watched on. This is the most direct indication yet that the Labour Party will back Chagossians’ ambitions to begin resettlement of their homeland as soon as possible. The full written record of the questions can be read here. “Will the Foreign and Commonwealth Office invest the money to recogn
On 23rd February 2016, Henry Smith MP, the Vice Chair of the Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and the Conservative MP for Crawley, raised the right of return of the Chagos islanders as a ‘Topical Question’ in the House of Commons.
He queried: ‘With the United States wishing to continue its military presence on Diego Garcia for a further 20 years, what discussions is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office planning to have with Washington about helping to faci