Hillingdon Liberal Democrats spokesperson, Charles Lawley, has backed party leader Tim Farron’s calls for local MP and London Mayor Boris Johnson to pull the £100m of GLA money from the Saudi Riyad bank, 51% of which is owned by the government of Saudi Arabia. This follows not only the execution of 47 people, by the Saudi regime, including Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, but the Saudi government’s increased and unrelenting human right abuses both at home and in Yemen.
Tim Farron told Johnson to make a promise to never invest public money in regimes with such terrible human rights records, stating “words are not enough.”
“Investing Londoners’ funds into Saudi government-backed banks seems to suggest Boris and his administration condone the horrific and systematic human rights abuses committed in the kingdom,” said Farron. “Investing in such places goes against everything London stands for. Profit should never come before principle.”
Charles Lawley, a spokesperson from the Hillingdon branch of the Liberal Democrats and resident in Mr Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, has thrown his full backing into his party leader’s calls, “History will not look favourably on the current Saudi regime and we do not want history to find us helping fund their brutal regime. The Saudi people face being murdered by the state for so-called “crimes” as minor as peaceful protest. I believe peaceful protest is not a crime, it is a fundamental human right that we as a tolerant, civilised society should support. But as long as Mr Johnson keeps GLA money invested in banks part owned by the Saudi government, he is helping their bloody oppression.”
“I call on, not just my fellow constituents of Mr Johnson but all Londoners, to write to him and let him know we won’t stand for our MP or Mayor using Londoners’ money for the good of a government that keeps its people cowering in the shadow of its sword. I urge Mr Johnson to, for once, put what is right before his own political gain and put people before profit.”