Jeremy Corbyn: Theresa May sacrificing human rights on altar of arms trade

Posted On: 
4th April 2017

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of being "ready to sacrifice human rights and security on the altar of the arms trade" ahead of her visit to Saudi Arabia.

Theresa May arrives in Amman as part of a trip which will also see her visit Saudi Arabia.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Labour leader also called on the Prime Minister to raise the country's human rights record during her talks with members of its ruling Royal family.

Mrs May is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia as part of a trip to the Gulf which has already seen her visit Jordan and Amman.

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Mr Corbyn said Britain must stop selling arms to Saudi, which is leading a coalition bombing rebels in neighbouring Yemen.

“As it stands, the British-Saudi relationship is damaging to the people of Saudi Arabia, Britain and the wider Middle East, and helping to export insecurity to the rest of the world," he said.

"Unless the Prime Minister challenges the Saudi regime over its abuses this week, it will be clear she is ready to sacrifice human rights and security on the altar of the arms trade."

But speaking to the BBC on her way to Jordan, Mrs May said: "Gulf security is our security and Gulf prosperity is our prosperity."

She added: "It's in our British national interest to have good relations around the world so we can trade around the world - that brings jobs and prosperity to the UK.

"It's also in our national interest to ensure we're working with others around the world to maintain our safety and security - and yes, it's in our national interests to ensure that the values that underpin us as Britons are values that we promote around the world - and that's what we're doing.

"It's important to engage, to talk to people, to talk about our interests and to raise difficult issues when we feel it's important to do so."