News & press releases

Anna McMorrin MP: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia visit to the UK

March 7, 2018

Today, Prime Minister Theresa May and her Government will welcome Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to the UK, rolling out the red carpet for someone who continues to order the bombing of civilians in Yemen, resulting in thousands of deaths and a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. I have received many emails and letters from Cardiff North residents who agree that this is shameful.

I regret that the Prime Minister issued this invitation in the first place as, when Mohammed bin Salman was Saudi’s Minister of Defence,  he was widely associated with curtailing human rights in his country and made the decision to lead Saudi Arabia into war in Yemen, causing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. According to the United Nations, thousands of civilians have been killed as a direct result of Saudi action in Yemen, schools and hospitals have been bombed, and malnutrition and starvation have become commonplace. I have signed EDM 865 which expresses dismay that the UK should be issuing invitations to the leader of a country taking military action resulting in such catastrophe for civilians and demanded that the Prime Minister revoke the invitation.

Emily Thornberry the Shadow Foreign Secretary has made clear the outrage felt by the Labour Party about the visit of the Crown Prince to the UK, and I strongly support her sentiments. As Emily Thornberry states, the reception given to the Crown Prince is about the Government’s desperation to plug the hole that will be left in Britain’s trade and growth prospects by Theresa May’s refusal to stay in a customs union with the EU after Brexit, and it is therefore unlikely that any serious effort will be made to pressure Saudi Arabia to end its involvement in Yemen.

I will continue to support the campaign to prevent further suffering in Yemen, and for pressure to be brought on Saudi Arabia to stop its military action. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about this issue, and I hope you will continue to campaign for an end to this appalling situation.

You can find Emily Thornberry's article at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/07/saudi-arabia-arms-sales-yemen.