Government defeats Board backed 'genocide amendment'

The Board of Deputies were among those urging MPs to back move aimed at helping Uyghur Muslims


The government has defeated a move backed by the Board of Deputies and 29 backbench Tory MPs to bring in measures aimed at blocking trade deals with any country guilty of genocide.

The so-called “genocide amendment” to the government’s Trade Bill was defeated by 318 votes to 300 in the House of Commons on Monday night.

Board President Marie van der Zyl had earlier made a passionate appeal for MPs to back Lord Alton’s  revised amendment, which was aimed at preventing deals with China while it remains accused of committing genocide against the Uyghur Muslims.

She drew comparisons with the Pesach story in an article for The Times, stating: “The Jewish community takes the plight of the Uyghur people extremely seriously. We do not feel we can stand by while millions of men, women and children are being tortured and enslaved.

“For we were slaves in the land of Egypt. And we will continue to stand up for the Uyghur people until one day, God willing in the near future, they are freed.”

Among those voting in support of the amendment in the Commons were 29 Tory MPs including former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, ex-party leader Iain Duncan Smith and former Brexit secretary David Davis.

The amendment would have created a parliamentary judicial committee to make independent assessments of whether allegations of genocide are substantiated.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said it was “sad” the government had not accepted the rebel measure.

The government has argued that only a competent court can make a declaration of genocide.


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