May enters grovelling mode as she visits her despotic pals
by Steve Sweeney
THERESA MAY faces some awkward grovelling on her visit to Saudi Arabia today following confirmation that Scotland Yard is considering launching a war crimes investigation into the despotic Gulf kingdom.
The Prime Minister’s talks, confirmed yesterday, are aimed at mending rifts between Britain and the Middle Eastern tyranny.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that the Met had received a referral on Thursday of an allegation of war crimes made against Saudi Arabia committed in Yemen.
“Following receipt of the referral, the MPS war crimes team (part of the counterterrorism command) began a scoping exercise and contacted those making the allegations.
“There is no investigation at this time, and the scoping exercise continues.”
The government has licensed a shocking £3.3 billion of arms exports to the Saudi regime since the bombing of Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition started in March 2015. According to a UN report, 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Last September, a joint report by the the Commons business and international development committees called for a suspension of arms sales until the completion of an independent inquiry into alleged human-rights breaches.
And in December the kingdom’s activities across the region prompted Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to accuse the regime of “waging proxy wars” in the Middle East.
A decision is pending in a judicial review launched by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) over the legality of arms sales. Spokesman Andrew Smith said: “The humanitarian situation in Yemen is terrible.
“Thousands have been killed in a two-year-long bombardment and a civil war that has left the country on the edge of a famine.
“Whitehall has been complicit in the destruction since day one. It has sold billions of pounds worth of arms and offered an unlimited and uncritical political support to the Saudi regime.”
He added: “If May wants to play a positive role in turning around a dire situation, then she must end the arms sales and her government’s complicity in the destruction.”
Ms May claimed that hundreds of lives have been saved in Britain due to Saudi intelligence and said “there is so much we can do together on trade.”