|The War and Afterwards
There are two things that I think we should get some assurance from the government on.
1. We should NOT be offering political asylum to any members of the Ba'arth Party in the way that we have been providing asylum for members of the Taliban.
2. If The Sun's reports are correct about comments made by George Galloway in The Sun, pressure should be brought to bear on him to resign as a member of the House
|Date Issue Raised:
||01 Apr 2003
||Thank you for the email. I wish I could give you assurances on the first point. Unless and until we derogate from the relevant Geneva Convention, we are bound to offer asylum to those who come within its definition - and this is decided by the courts. (See my website - www.sirgeorgeyoung.org.uk - under FAQ for January 26th for a fuller explanation of what the Conservatives have proposed on this.) I agree it was absurd that we had to offer asylum to the Taleban.
On the second point, the House of Commons is reluctant to expel fellow-members - on the grounds that we are sent here by our constituents, and not elected by each other. I haven't read the Sun so don't know what George Galloway has said. I have certainly found some of his speeches in the House offensive but, unlike Iraq, we have freedom of speech here.
As a general rule, it would be up to his constituents to decide whether, in the light of his views, he should be allowed to go on representing them. He would only be expelled - normally - if he was convicted of a serious criminal offence involving imprisonment.