Britain 'must change the law' over Livni arrest

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2009

Embarrassed ministers are looking "urgently" at ways of changing the law in the wake of the failed attempt to arrest Israeli Opposition leader Tsipi Livni in Britain last weekend.

Ms Livni cancelled a trip to London shortly before a court in Westminster granted a warrant for her arrest.

But Ms Livni, who had been due to speak at Sunday’s JNF Vision 2010 conference in Hendon, said she had cancelled the trip a fortnight ago for scheduling reasons.

After a meeting with the Israeli ambassador, Ron Prosor, the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said: "Israeli leaders, like leaders from other countries, must be able to visit and have a proper dialogue with the British government.

“We are looking urgently at ways in which the UK system might be changed in order to avoid this sort of situation arising again.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Prosor said: “The current situation is absurd and unacceptable in equal measure. Israelis cannot continually be held hostage by fringe groups of anti-Israel extremists.

“The British Government must take a firm stand to prevent British courts becoming a playground for anti-Israel extremists.”

Last updated: 10:04am, December 16 2009