Chagos Islands

Before the dissolution of Parliament I was proud to serve as the Vice Chair of the Chagos All-Party Parliamentary Group.

The Chagos islanders, British citizens, were exiled from their homeland in 1968 by Orders in Council under Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The decision did not come through Parliament. A great injustice was done at that time, and while we cannot turn the clock back, we can start to right those wrongs.

Crawley is home to a large Chagossian community and this is an issue I’ve consistently pursued since even before my election to Parliament in 2010. I’ll continue to pursue this cause with the Government.

In January 2018 I introduced legislation to ensure nationality rights for descendants of the Chagos islanders. My British Indian Ocean Territory (Citizenship) Bill received backing from the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.

News

Ahead to 2019

Henry Smith MP column, Crawley Observer, 2nd January 2019.

Henry Smith MP to introduce Chagos Islands British Nationality Bill

Henry Smith MP will introduce legislation in the House of Commons next week to allow individuals descended from the Chagos Islands to register as British citizens in recognition of the fact that their parents and grandparents were forcibly exiled from this UK Overseas Territory.