United Kingdom

Boris Johnson faces revolt from Tory MPs over alleged human rights abuses in China 

Boris Johnson today faces a revolt from dozens of his MPs, who are demanding action against Beijing over human rights abuses.

He is under mounting pressure to let British courts decide if the Chinese communist state is committing genocide against its Uighur Muslim minority.

More than 30 MPs are expected to back an amendment to the Trade Bill that would force ministers to block deals with countries which the High Court had ruled were guilty of genocide.

Boris Johnson today faces a revolt from dozens of his MPs, who are demanding action against Beijing over human rights abuses

Tory MP Nusrat Ghani, who is leading the drive for the change, said: 'Britain must not look the other way on the genocide that is happening today in China.

'This is our first chance outside the EU to show what Global Britain stands for.'

The Government has opposed the amendment amid concerns the measure would lead to vexatious court claims and could prove counterproductive since the threshold to prove genocide is high.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was asked on Sunday if he thought the treatment of the Uighur minority group in China was genocide.

If accepted, the amendment could prevent the government from agreeing a deal with China because of Beijing's treatment of the Uighur people in Xinjiang province, file photo

He said: 'I think it's for a court to decide whether the very complex definition of genocide is met.

'But what is clear, frankly, whatever legal label you put on it, is that there are convincing and persuasive third party authoritative reports of serious violations of human rights on an appalling industrial scale.'

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has said it is backing the calls for the British courts to be given a new role in determining if the Uighur people are suffering genocide in China.

The amendment would allow domestic courts to declare if genocide is occurring in another country and it would prevent the UK trading with any country the High Court rules is committing genocidal acts.

Allegra Stratton, the Prime Minister's press secretary, said the Government was 'constantly reaching out to all parliamentarians' and was proud of how the UK champions human rights globally.

She said the Trade Bill only applied to trade agreements that had already been signed with the EU, and that none of those agreements had 'eroded any domestic standards'.

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