A Chinese official delegation was barred from attending Queen Elizabeth’s lying in State.
According to a source in parliament, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, House of Commons Speaker will block access to Westminster Hall due to Chinese sanctions against a group of MPs.
It happened as people continued to pay their respects for the late monarch in advance of her state funeral on Monday.
As a result, the UK’s Chinese ambassador was prevented from visiting Parliament. This has been extended to a delegation to lie in state.
According to a source, Sir Lindsay was defending his position of banning Chinese state officials, while the parliamentarians are still sanctioned. This confirms the original story by Politico.
A House of Commons spokesperson stated that “we don’t comment on security matters”, while Sir Lindsay’s spokesperson also declined to comment.
This move will likely fuel tensions between China and the UK.
China’s President Xi Jinping is currently in Uzbekistan meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin. He is not expected to attend Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Instead, he will be represented instead by Wang Qishan, vice-president.
Several of the sanctioned MPs and peers, including former Tory ministers Iain Duncan Smith, Tim Loughton and Tim Loughton raised concerns about the Chinese government being invited at the funeral.
They wrote to Sir Lindsay earlier in the week: “We are greatly concern to hear that China’s government has been invited to the state funeral next Wednesday, despite the exclusion of other countries like Russia, Belarus, and Myanmar.”
“Given the United Kingdom parliament has voted in recognition of the genocide perpetrated by the Chinese government against Uighur people, it is remarkable that those who orchestrated that genocide should not be treated more favorably than countries that have been barred.”
Liz Truss was foreign secretary and pressed for tougher sanctions against Beijing during her campaign to be prime minister.
Downing Street stated that decisions regarding attendance at the funeral were made with Buckingham Palace. It was also a convention that countries with whom the UK has diplomatic relations should attend.
It is understood that invitations to the Queen’s funeral have not been sent out to Russia, Belarus, or Myanmar. Iran will be represented at an ambassadorial stage.
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The Kremlin has declared the decision to not invite its representatives to Queen’s funeral as and blasphemous .
Sir Lindsay and Lord Speaker, Lord McFall, Alcluith, informed Zheng Zeguang, China’s ambassador, that he couldn’t come to parliament last September because of the sanctions.
China’s government criticized the ban at the time as “despicable” and “cowardly”.