• Cat Gough

"Start making plans for Chagossians' return" Alan Brown MP tells Ministers on Human Ri

SNP MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Alan Brown, has used a House of Commons debate on International Human Rights day to call on the UK government to take action to allow the Chagossians to return home. You can read the full text of the debate on

In a debate held to consider International Human Rights Day, backbench MPs opened the debate in order to examine whether human rights remained at the very heart of UK Foreign Policy, and if so, how they are protected and promoted in practice.

Alan Brown’s call on the Government came after MPs used the debate to reflect on contemporary global injustices. Speakers including Jim Shannon, Fiona Bruce, Liz McInnes and Angela Rayner touched upon on the human rights records of Burma, Syria, Egypt, Uganda, Iraq and the USA. MP Alan Brown began by positing to fellow MPs that “when talking about human rights, we are also talking about the great traditions of the UK, but it is worth also reflecting on some of the human rights abuses that have taken place under UK governments and administrations since World War Two.”

Before discussing the plight of the Chagossian people, Brown pointed to British historic abuses of ethnic Chinese populations in 1948, Kenyans between 1952-63 and Yemeni and Cyprus populations. “In modern times”, he stated, “we have the scandal of the Chagossian Islanders, who were forcibly evicted from their homeland so that the US could set up an air base at Diego Garcia.” “I call on the UK Government to start making proper plans to allow the Chagossians to return home if they wish to.” Alan Brown concluded that “if the UK is to remain the beacon that we have heard it can be on human rights, it must lead by example, both domestically and in its overseas territory.” This was an argument that Kate Osamor, Labour MP for Edmonton, concurred with, stating in the debate that “simply celebrating the UK’s efforts is one sided and slightly misleading. We must recognise the contradictions at the heart of our human rights policy and beliefs.”

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