The Chinese ambassador to the UK has been banned from Britain’s Parliament as an invitation for him to visit the House of Commons was revoked Tuesday, according to local media reports.
The move came as a reaction to sanctions by China on five Conservative lawmakers and two members of the House of Lords back in March, The Daily Telegraph reported.
China had imposed sanctions on 10 UK organizations and individuals including former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith over the alleged spreading of “lies and disinformation” on alleged human rights violations of Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang province.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and Lord John McFall, the Lord Speaker in the upper house, blocked Chinese ambassador Zheng Zeguang as he was due to attend a reception Wednesday hosted by the all-party group on China.
“I regularly hold meetings with ambassadors from across the world to establish enduring ties between countries and parliamentarians,” Hoyle told The Daily Telegraph.
“But I do not feel it’s appropriate for the ambassador for China to meet on the Commons estate and in our place of work when his country has imposed sanctions against some of our members,” he said.
“If those sanctions were lifted, then of course this would not be an issue. I am not saying the meeting cannot go ahead. I am just saying it cannot take place here while those sanctions remain in place.”
The sanctioned politicians are Sir Iain, Tom Tugendhat, Nus Ghani, Neil O’Brien and Tim Loughton. They have been spearheading a campaign calling for sanctions against China over alleged human rights abuses by China against Uygurs.