EXCL Labour accuse Theresa May of 'grubby' deals as Saudi Crown Prince to meet Queen

Posted On: 
6th March 2018

Labour have accused Theresa May of preparing to sign "grubby business deals" with Saudi Arabia as it emerged the country's Crown Prince has been granted an audience with the Queen.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman will visit the UK for three days.
PA Images

Mohammed Bin Salman will have lunch with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace, and dinner with Prince Charles and the Duke of Cambridge at Clarence House during his three-day visit to the UK.

The Crown Prince will also host a meeting of the UK-Saudi Strategy Partnership Council with the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street, be given a briefing by British security officials and have a bilateral meeting with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

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Downing Street has insisted that the Prime Minister will raise concerns about human rights in Saudi Arabia, as well as the country's party in the war in Yemen.

But writing for PoliticsHome, Shadow International Development Secretary Kate Osamor accused Mrs May of paving the way for multi-billion pound trade deals with the Saudi regime.

She said: "For the Government and for Saudi Arabia, this visit is about sealing grubby business deals and about salvaging reputations.

"We should be outraged that the UK is putting business deals ahead of the lives of millions of people in Yemen, and turning a blind eye to humanitarian disaster and to human rights."

Ms Osamor added: "The British public will rightly be wondering why Theresa May and the Royal family are meeting with a principal architect of the war in Yemen, and whether this is the new normal for so-called 'Global Britain' under the Tories.

"This is what it feels like for our great country to be on the wrong side of history."

But a Number 10 spokesman insisted the Prime Minister will raise concerns about the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and call for the blockade of the country's ports to be lifted to allow "commercial and humanitarian access".

Stressing Mrs May's desire to strengthen links with the Saudis, he added: "We have a very strong security relationship with Saudi Arabia which has endured over a number of years and will continue to do so."