Henry Smith MP has spoken in Parliament calling for the right of Chagos Islanders, living in Crawley and around the world, to return to their homeland in the British Indian Ocean Territory.
“After all these years, it’s still difficult to comprehend how the British Government, then led by Harold Wilson, could forcibly remove the Chagos islanders – British citizens – from where they were born.
“One of the responsibilities I’ve felt in public life is to do what I can to ensure they have the right to return to their homeland. A point I raised in Westminster Hall yesterday was that I’ve never met a member of the Chagossian community in Crawley who did not want this right.
“This issue continues to receive cross-party support in Parliament. I’m grateful to Conservative, Labour, SNP and DUP colleagues who spoke in support of the right of return yesterday, and to all who are members of the Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group, which I’m honoured to be a vice chair of.
“I’m proudly patriotic, but I recognise that this is a shameful part of our country’s history. While we can’t change the past, I continue to call on the Government to do the right thing – the British thing – now.
“I want to thank everyone who took the time to travel from Crawley to Westminster to watch the debate live – we’ll keep fighting for you.”
Notes to Editors
For further information on Henry Smith MP’s support for the right of the Chagossian people to return to their homeland, please click here.
For the full text of Henry Smith MP’s speech in Westminster Hall, please click here.