Chagos All-Party Parliamentary Group: Coordinator's Summary

parliamentThe All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Chagos Islands has reconvened for the first time this Parliament. Below is a summary of their first meeting and a list of re-appointments and new members. Thanks as ever are due to voluntary Coordinator David Snoxell for providing the below summary.

 

The Chagos Islands APPG held its inaugural meeting of this Parliament and 49th meeting on 3 June. The following officers were re-elected:

Chairman, Jeremy Corbyn MP; Vice Chairs: Lord Avebury, Lord Ramsbotham, Andrew Rosindell MP, Henry Smith MP. A decision on a new Secretary will be taken in due course. The Group re-appointed David Snoxell as Coordinator, Richard Gifford as Legal Adviser and Oliver Taylor as administrative support officer. They were thanked for their work in the last Parliament. The Chairman also thanked members who had left the Group and welcomed two new members, Steve Baker MP (Cons) and Alan Brown MP (SNP).
Members discussed developments since the last meeting on 23 March. They took note of the ministerial statement of 24 March, and the PM’s letter to the Chairman which had been received on 26 March. The Group noted that the follow-up work on costs and liabilities and on likely demand for resettlement, which a Cabinet level meeting in mid March had asked for, was being coordinated by the FCO. They were pleased to learn that DfID economists would be involved. Members were concerned to note that officials had been asked to develop non-resettlement options. They asked about the length of time this further work would take, what the timetable for completion was and whether it would be published. This would be the subject of a PQ.
Members present commended the intervention on resettlement and Magna Carta by Henry Smith in the debate (1 June) on the Queen’s Speech. In view of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta members decided that they would follow up  their public statement of 23 March (sent by the Chairman to the PM), to which there had been no reaction, with a letter to the press.
The Group was apprised of the applications concerning the right of abode and the MPA which would be considered by the Supreme Court on 22 June.
The next and 50th meeting of the APPG will take place on 15 July.

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