Crawley MP calls for No 10 review on exiles’ return to Chagos Islands

Henry Smith and Michael (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150420-100100008
Henry Smith and Michael (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150420-100100008

Crawley MP Henry Smith has urged people to take part in a consultation on the right of people to return to their Chagos Islands homelands.

A spokesman for the MP’s office said the consultation was opened after ministers agreed work was needed to clarify uncertainties over issues of resettlement to the British Indian Territory.

The spokesman said: “Work is now underway to do so, including exploration of the potential costs and liabilities of, and likely demand for, resettlement.

“This further work will help inform future decisions on the way ahead.”

Consultation runs until October 27.

Mr Smith said: “I’m honoured to serve as the Vice Chair of the Chagos All-Party Parliamentary Group campaigning for the right of resettlement.

“The Chagos islanders – British citizens – were exiled from their homeland in 1968 by Orders in Council under then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

“The decision did not come through Parliament, and a great injustice was done.

“The Coalition Government initiated a feasibility study into the resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory and I continue to call on the Government to implement this report.”

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