independent– Boris Johnson has condemned China’s sanctions against outspoken MPs and other British citizens, saying: “I stand firmly with them.”
Beijing is punishing critics, including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, in a tit-for-tat retaliation for UK sanctions over Beijing’s treatment of Uighur Muslims.
In response, the prime minister tweeted: “The MPs and other British citizens sanctioned by China today are performing a vital role shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uighur Muslims.
“Freedom to speak out in opposition to abuse is fundamental and I stand firmly with them.”
Mr Duncan Smith, one of the leading China critics on the Tory benches, said he would wear the sanctions “as a badge of honour”.
And another, Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, branded Beijing’s move “a direct assault on British democracy”.
Also on the list are fellow Tory MPs Neil O’Brien, Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani, Labour peer Helena Kennedy, Liberal Democrat peer David Alton, the China Research Group of MPs, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Uighur Tribunal, and Essex Court Chambers.
In a statement on behalf of the CRG, Mr Tugendhat and Mr O’Brien said the “profoundly sinister” move could potentially affect 100 MPs involved with the Group.