UK Foreign Sec Slaps Down Labour MP Demanding Legal ‘Intervention’ in Belarus
18:17 GMT 07.07.2021 (Updated: 20:10 GMT 07.07.2021)
Claudia Webbe was elected Labour MP for Leicester East in 2019, replacing her disgraced party-mate Keith Vaz. But she refused to step down from her borough council seat in Islington for three months, when her undeclared income from the post got her in trouble with parliamentary authorities this year.
An MP recently suspended from the Labour Party got short shrift when she asked the foreign secretary to take "legal action" against Belarus.
"Why does the government not consider legal action to be necessary in the case of Laruz [sic]", Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe asked Conservative Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at a meeting of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
“What is the legal action you’re proposing?” Raab asked. "Well, I mean I'm asking you the question", said Webbe, clearly taken aback.
“Sorry, forgive me, what I was trying to clarify is who do you want us to sue and where?” Raab replied.
Following an awkward pause, Webbe continued: "Would the government agree the situation in Belarus requires an intervention from the UK?"
28 May 2021, 09:37 GMT
Raab announced sanctions against Belarus on 25 May after the country's air force ordered a flight from Athens to Vilnius, operated by Irish budget airline Ryanair, to land in the capital Minsk after authorities received reports of explosives on board. Anti-government agitator Roman Protasevich, a passenger on the flight, was arrested after landing.
The UK banned Belarusian commercial flights from entering British airspace, and instructed British airlines not to fly to the former Soviet republic. The EU followed suit.
Webbe tweeted claims on Tuesday that Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko was guilty of "torture" and claimed the British government could make a complaint to International Court of Justice — a United Nations body that arbitrates disputes between states, not claims of human rights disputes by citizens against their governments.
— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) July 6, 2021
The MP doubled down on Wednesday, demanding the government use its seat on the UN Security Council to try to force other nations to sanction Belarus — despite Minsk's ally Russia holding a veto as a fellow permanent member of the council.
— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) July 7, 2021