China’s treatment of Muslims ‘not urgent enough’ to debate, Tower Hamlets Council decides
- Credit: Mike Brooke
The million-plus Muslims locked up in detention camps by the Chinese government which is applying for planning consent for its UK embassy at Tower Hill wasn’t considered “urgent enough” to be debated at last night’s Tower Hamlets Council meeting.
China’s plans to relocate its embassy to the historic former Royal Mint from the West End is facing opposition over repression of the Muslim Uighur people as well as the clampdown on democratic dissent in Hong Kong.
But the newly-elected Speaker of the Council turned down an Opposition group’s attempt for a human rights debate last night in the light of China’s planning application.
“This is an urgent motion on an issue of humanity,” Tory Group leader Peter Golds insisted. “We have the largest Chinese community anywhere in London living at Canary Wharf, many of them connected with the banking industry.
“But China’s Uighur Muslims being taken from their homes to be ‘re-educated’ is horrendous.”
You may also want to watch:
Tower Hamlets has the highest ratio of Muslims of any local authority area in Britain, at 38 per cent, which has led to the sensitivity in the East End with its historical links to fighting repressive regimes.
But the opposition motion, backed by Lib Dems’ Rabina Khan, got pushed into touch when Mohammed Hussain, Labour’s new council chair, or speaker, turned it down.
- 1 Fury as family homes vanish when Isle of Dogs landlord converts to bedsits
- 2 Man sentenced after teenage boy groomed on Snapchat to sell heroin
- 4 Covid vaccination hub opening in Westfield next week
- 5 Two men arrested after police officers assaulted in Limehouse rave
- 6 NHS nurse assaulted at east London hospital
- 7 Man sentenced for assault on Homerton Hospital nurse
- 8 Teenager found dead in Victoria Park
- 9 Airbnb house party violence leaves police officer with broken finger
- 10 Police hunt after stabbing in Cable Street: One man hurt
Cllr Hussain told authority members: “I don’t consider this matter urgent enough to be discussed. It should be tabled at the next meeting.”
The emergency motion condemning China won’t now be discussed by the Labour-run council, the local planning authority for the proposed Chinese embassy site, until space can be found on its agenda at November’s meeting.
The council may still have reservations about whether to allow the Tower Hill scheme in what would be China’s biggest overseas embassy. There is growing concern among town hall sources about breaches in human rights of the Uighur Muslims and whether Tower Hamlets “really wants to host the embassy of a nefarious regime”.
The embassy is in initial stages of pre-application talks with the town hall’s planning department, with the formal application said to be “a considerable time away”.