Edward Leigh, the Member of Parliament for Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, has voiced his concerns over the prolonged British military intervention in Libya. Addressing questions in debate to the Prime Minister and then to the Foreign Secretary, Mr Leigh sought reassurance that the aim of the operation remained, as originally stated, the return of peace and not an overthrow of the pre-existing Libyan regime.
Speaking to the Prime Minister in the Commons, Mr Leigh said:
Of course we reject the al-Qaeda characterisation of western policy as an attempt to impose our views on the Muslim world, but in order to win hearts and minds—particularly in the Arab world—will my right hon. Friend make it clear that it is no part of our long-term policy to impose or get rid of a particular regime in Libya, and that our aim is to secure a ceasefire, a settlement and, ultimately, peace, even at the cost of a divided country? I suspect that what most Libyans want is peace.
Later, in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office oral questions in the Commons, Mr Leigh asked the Home Secretary:
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the best first step towards the reconstruction of the country would be peace and a ceasefire? Will he therefore assure the House that all his efforts are pointed in that direction rather than just at regime change?
Edward Leigh MP has expressed his concerns regarding the persecution of Christians in Iran to the Islamic Republic’s representative in the U.K. In a letter to the Ambassador, Mr Leigh wrote that he is “extremely concerned” over reports of severe persecution taking place in Iran, including arrests and detention.
Mr Leigh raised the particular cases of Ali Shahvari, Mojtaba Keshavarz-Ahmadi, Vahik Abramian, Sonia Keshish-Avanessian, Arash Kermajani, Arezo Teymouri, Rasool and Maryam Abdolahi, and other Christians including Yousef Nadarkhani. Mr Nadarkhani, a 33-year-old father of two, was arrested in October 2009 after he objected to the teaching of Islam to Christian children in schools, and has been held in prison ever since. He was formally charged with apostasy, found guilty, and sentenced to death. In December, Mr Nadarkhani’s lawyer lodged an appeal with the Iranian supreme court. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is the text of a letter sent by Edward Leigh MP to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Read the rest of this entry »
Edward Leigh MP raised the subject of Iraq’s persecuted Christian minority in a speech to the Council of Europe on 27 January 2011. Mr Leigh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gainsborough was speaking in his capacity as a British delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Representing the European Democrats Group, Mr Leigh pointed out that “while there is pressure on Christians throughout the Middle East and there have been some serious incidents – notably, of course, the tragic incident in Egypt – the real problem lies in Iraq.” Read the rest of this entry »
The following is the text of the speech deliver by Edward Leigh MP to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, assembled at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, 27 January 2011:
Mr President, it is a great pleasure to be asked to speak to this motion on behalf of the European Democrat Group. We very much share the sentiments expressed by other speakers on the rights of men and women to live their faith in peace. Read the rest of this entry »