Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith)

Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith)

Twitter: @hammersmithandy. More information can be found here.

Details of the questions asked can be found here.

I'm sure you already know my views on the issue of Palestine and I am a long standing supporter of the rights of the Palestinian people. I am both Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine and Secretary of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group.

I have visited the West Bank and Gaza on a number of occasions during my time as an MP. My visits there are always bitter sweet. On the one hand incredible hospitality, excellent food and visiting some of the most beautiful and historic places on the planet. On the other the despair of a country under occupation for 50 years and a population whose lives are controlled, from the detention without charge of children to the segregation and displacement of families and communities.

With regards to Saudi Arabia and Yemen I have shared deep concerns about potential violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen for several years now. This is why I have repeatedly called on the Government to immediately suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in the war on Yemen pending a comprehensive and independent investigation of all alleged war crimes.

I have raised my concerns with Ministers on a number of occasions  and last year I tabled Early Day Motion 865 last year criticising the Prime Minister's invitation to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. Similarly, I am also one of the signatories of EDM 1726, which condemned Saudi Arabia’s on-going violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, particularly with regards to its ongoing conflict with Yemen.

The Court of Appeal judgement on 20 June 2019 shows that the Government wilfully disregarded the evidence behind these concerns. I believe we now need a full parliamentary or public inquiry to find out how that was allowed to happen, and which Ministers might have been responsible for breaches in the law.

I believe the judgement also shows beyond doubt why we need root-and-branch reform of our arms export rules so that these decisions are never again made by Ministers in such a careless and arbitrary way.

The Government has said it will not grant any new licences for arms exports that might be used in the conflict in Yemen. It must now also suspend all existing arms exports for use in the Yemen conflict until there has been a full and independent, UN-led investigation into all breaches of international humanitarian law.

The people of Yemen have suffered so much throughout this conflict and resolving it could not be more urgent. A political settlement is absolutely vital for the peace, security and stability of Yemen and the health and well-being of the Yemeni people.

The Government should end its support of the Saudi-led coalition’s conduct in the war and use all its influence to play its part in bringing about the peaceful, negotiated resolution that is so desperately needed.

I'm sorry for not responding to all the issues you've raised, but I'm trying to use these last few days before the election to respond to as many people as I can, and I hope I've given you some idea of my thoughts on the Middle East. If re-elected don't hesitate to get back to me with any other questions you have and I'll do what I can to help.