Hain’s Record On Arms Dealing

Peter Hain had a shocker on Question Time, being jeered and booed by the audience for his take on Britain selling arms to Libya:

If we found, as we did in some instances that they were not being used for the license they had been granted for… If that’s the case, then it was wrong to sell them and we wouldn’t do it again…

Which would of course be too late…

Hain’s ministerial record on arms dealing is far from squeaky clean:

Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister with responsibility for Africa, yesterday told The Independent on Sunday that the Government would investigate the deal if any substantiated allegations were made… “nobody could object to Britain selling arms to South Africa”.

On the BBC’s Today programme ….

…the Foreign Office minister Peter Hain gave his personal assurance that new Labour had never sold arms to any government that used them for internal repression. At last month’s Farnborough arms fair, weapons and all manner of war equipment were on offer to Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey…

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: “The public were outraged and shocked in the role the UK had in being a major supplier of arms to countries like Indonesia. The fact that the government finally brought in an embargo given the atrocities in East Timor just recently shows that the public has become very concerned about where we are selling arms too.” However, Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain insisted the government had acted ethically and openly in its arms sales policy.

His conversion to the cause of peace seems to coincide with him being out of office…


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