What's Happening in Parliament

Chair Keith Vaz asked an urgent question in Parliament today relating to the impending Saudi- Emirati led coalitions attack on the Port of Hudaydah.

The Question was:To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reports of an imminent attack by the Saudi-Emirati-led coalition on the port of Hodeidah and the humanitarian impact of such an attack

This comes at a time when a coalition backed assault on the vital Red Sea Port of Hudaydah looks increasingly likely. The All Party Parliamentary Group has previously come out strongly against such an attack believing that the humanitarian consequences would be disastrous. The United Nations have estimated that in a worst case scenario 250,000 civilians could be killed by such an assault. Martin Griffiths has gone to Saana to negotiate with the Houthis, attempting to get the vital port under UN control. Hudaydah port accoutns for over 80% of the humanitarian imports that enter Yemen.

Alistair Burt was the responding Minister and stated that:

''No attack has yet taken place. Accordingly, we continue to urge all sides to de-escalate as a matter of urgency and to engage in the political process in good faith. The UN special envoy has previously expressed concern that conflicts in Hodeidah could take peace off the table “in a single stroke”. It is essential for him to be given the time that he needs to facilitate a negotiated solution that avoids conflict in the city and we support his efforts to do so''

The full debate can be found here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-06-11/debates/470742F4-E378-4122-9440-422BB9EA26E3/Yemen