Boris Johnson has said there will “effectively be a diplomatic boycott” of the Winter Olympics in Beijing given that no UK ministers or officials will be attending.
Conservative former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith begged the Prime Minister to ensure the UK follows the lead of the United States by having a full diplomatic boycott of the Games in February.
Mr Johnson said the Government has “no hesitation” in raising concerns over human rights abuses with China, adding in the Commons: “There will be effectively a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“No ministers are expected to attend and no officials.
“What I can tell the House is I don’t think sporting boycotts are sensible and that remains the policy of the Government.”
President Biden has decided US diplomats will boycott the Beijing Olympics, New Zealand and Australia have followed suit.
In PMQs, the SNP’s Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald said: “The chaos of this Government is distracting from the serious decisions it should be taking.
“We all know the Chinese Government denies basic human rights to China’s minority religious communities.
“The repression of the predominantly Muslim Uighur population is Xinjiang has been condemned as an act of genocide. In the face of these abuses President Biden has decided US diplomats will boycott the Beijing Olympics, New Zealand and Australia have followed suit.
“It is international human rights day on Friday so will the Prime Minister raise his eyes from his chaos and commit the UK to joining the diplomatic boycott? Or does his desperation for trade deals trump human rights?”
Boris Johnson replied: “No, because we make all those points regularly to the Chinese and indeed I did to President Xi when I talked to him recently.
“As I have said before we do not support sporting boycotts but there are not plans for ministers to attend the Winter Olympics.”Internet Explorer Channel Network