13/06/18

On the 13th of June APPG Members, Alison Thewliss MP and Keith Vaz MP along with Andrew Mitchell MP wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May regarding the Saudi-Emirati offensive on Hudaydah Port. The letter was written 48 hours after an Urgent Debate had occurred in Parliament on the prospect of an offensive in the area. During the debate, Minister Alistair Burt repeatedly stated that the Government did not support such an attack. The United Kingdom is a major arms exporter to Saudi Arabia. Less than 24 hours after the Urgent Question and the Governments stated opposition to such an attack, Saudi and Emirati supported forces launched the offensive. The Letter to the Prime Minister expressed grave concern at an offensive on Hudaydah and its potential to exacerbate Yemen's already catastrophic humanitarian situation.

The letter called on the Prime Minister to make a statement outlining UK opposition to an offensive in the area, while also using all available means, including removing military material support from the combatants to dissuade them from carrying out the offensive. The full text of the letter is below and Members of Parliament are still adding their names. Members of all political parties including 3 opposition party leaders and the chairs of three committees have added their names:

UPDATE: Saudi-Emirati supported forces have yet to attempt an attack on the port of Hudaydah itself. Recent attacks have again begun in the Hudaydah region sparking fears that as opposed to an attack on the Port of Hudaydah the coalition and its proxies will be looking to encircle and lay siege to the city. It is imperative that fighting in the region does not impact the flow of humanitarian aid that comes through Hudaydah. MPs are still signing their names to the letter calling for the Prime Minister to make a statement condemning such an attack. The letter and the names of those that have signed have been sent twice to the new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.


Dear Theresa,
Hudaydah Port, Yemen
We were pleased to hear following Monday’s urgent question that the Government is not in favour of a Saudi- Emirati led military assault on the Red Sea Port of Hudaydah.
This letter is co-sponsored by Andrew Mitchell MP and Alison Thewliss MP and signed by a number of colleagues. Our letter mirrors that sent yesterday by a bipartisan group of US Congressman, Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif) Thomas Massie (R-Ky), Barbara Lee (D-Calif), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) to US Defence Secretary James Mattis.

We are gravely concerned that in the absence of commercial imports in case of an attack on the port for any length of time, parts of the population could experience famine. As the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Lise Grande said “as many as 250,000 people may lose everything— even their lives,” if there is a military attack on Hudaydah Port.
17 million people in Yemen are already food insecure. Food imports have reached the lowest levels since the conflict started and the price of basic commodities has risen by a third. Hudaydah port accounts for 80% of the humanitarian and commercial aid that passes through Yemen. 22.2 million people in Yemen are in need of urgent humanitarian aid and disruption to Yemen’s deep sea port would put millions of lives at risk.

In light of the Government’s previous statements regarding a peaceful solution to the conflict, it is clear that fighting in Hudaydah would prolong the war and the suffering of the Yemeni people. UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths has said that an assault would ‘in a single stroke take peace off the table.’ We cannot stand idly by and watch this dreadful conflict continue.
We urge you to use all available means to end this catastrophic military assault on Hudaydah Port by the Saudi and Emirati led coalition. This includes removing material support from combatants. We implore you to make a statement condemning an attack on Hudaydah and calling for an urgent ceasefire.


Hudaydah Port, Yemen

List of MP co-signatories on the letter to the Prime Minister

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP (Leicester East) Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen
Alison Thewliss MP (Glasgow Central) Secretary, All Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen
Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP (Sutton Coldfield)
Mark Pritchard MP (The Wrekin) Vice Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen
Ian Blackford MP (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) SNP Leader at Westminster
Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham) Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Tom Tugendhat MP (Tonbridge and Malling) Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee
Stephen Twigg MP (Liverpool West Derby) Chair, International Development Committee
Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP (Camberwell and Peckham) Chair, Joint Committee on Human Rights
Valarie Vaz MP (Walsall South) Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
Kate Osamor MP (Edmonton) Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Baroness Northover, Liberal Democrats Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, House of Lords
Stephen Gethins MP (North East Fife) SNP Spokesperson for Europe and International Affairs
Chris Law MP (Dundee West) SNP Spokesperson for International Development
Liz Saville Roberts MP (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader
Preet Gill MP (Birmingham Edgbaston) Shadow International Development Minister
Dan Carden MP (Liverpool Walton) Shadow Minister for International Development
Douglas Chapman MP (Dunfermline and West Fife) SNP Spokesperson on Defence Procurement
Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey MP (Kingston and Surbiton)
David Drew MP (Stroud)
Roberta Blackman-Woods MP (City of Durham)
Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP (Orkney and Shetland)
Catherine West MP (Hornsey and Wood Green)
Martin Day MP (Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Stuart McDonald MP (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch)
Andrew Slaughter MP (Hammersmith)
Naz Shah MP (Bradford West)
Carol Monaghan MP (Glasgow North West)
Joanna Cherry MP (Edinburgh South West)
Faisal Rashid MP (Warrington South)
Alan Brown MP (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
David Linden MP (Glasgow East)
Stephen Morgan MP (Portsmouth South)
Karen Buck MP (Westminster North)
Gill Furniss MP (Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough)
Rt Hon Tom Brake MP (Carshalton and Wallington)
Mary Glindon MP (North Tyneside)
Tony Lloyd MP (Rochdale)
Kelvin Hopkins MP (Luton North)
Richard Burden MP (Birmingham Northfield)
Fiona Onasanya MP (Peterborough)
Ruth George MP (High Peak)
Marsha De Cordova MP (Battersea)
Virendra Sharma MP (Ealing Southall)
Afzal Khan MP (Manchester Gorton)
Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP (Brighton Kemptown)
James Frith MP (Bury North)
Carol Monaghan MP (Glasgow North)
Gavin Newlands MP (Paisley & Renfrewshire North)
Jonathan Edwards, MP (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
Neil Grey MP (Airdrie & Shotts)
Hywel Williams MP (Caernarfon)
Ben Lake MP (Ceredigion)
John McNally MP (Falkirk)
Tommy Sheppard MP (Edinburgh East)
Christopher Stephens MP (Glasgow South)
Philippa Whitford MP (Central Ayrshire)
Brendan O’Hara MP (Argyll and Bute)
Marion Fellows MP (Motherwell and Wishaw)
Patricia Gibson MP (North Ayrshire and Arran)
Hannah Bardell MP (Livingston)
Deidre Brock MP (Edinburgh North and Leith)
Patrick Grady MP (Glasgow North)
Peter Kyle MP (Hove)
Drew Hendry MP (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
Lord Browne of Ladyton
Alex Sobel MP (Leeds North West)
Jim Shannon MP (Strangford)
Wera Hobhouse MP (Bath)
Lord Judd
Zach Goldsmith MP (Richmond Park)
Jo Swinson MP (East Dunbartonshire)
Paul Blomfield MP (Sheffield Central)
Jared O'Mara MP (Sheffield Hallam)
Louise Haigh MP (Sheffield Heeley)
Tim Loughton MP (East Worthing and Shoreham)
Jeremy Lefroy MP (Stafford)
Sandy Martin MP (Ipswich)
Jeff Smith MP (Manchester Withington)
Emma Lewell Buck MP (South Shields)
Ivan Lewis MP (Bury South)
Sammy Wilson MP (East Antrim)
Jim Cunningham MP (Coventry South)
Roger Godstiff MP (Birmingham Hall Green)
Rachel Maskell MP (York Central)
Toby Perkins MP (Chesterfield)
Sarah Champion MP (Rotherham)
Ian Murray MP (Edinburgh South)
Dr Lisa Cameron MP (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
Paul Sweeny MP (Glasgow North East)
Layla Moran MP (Oxford West and Abingdon)
Chris Williamson MP (Derby North)
Bambos Charalambous MP (Enfield Southgate)
Kerry McCarthy MP (Bristol East)
Clive Betts MP (Sheffield South East)
Peter Kyle MP (Hove and Portslade)
Janet Daby MP (Lewisham East)
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (Tooting)
Rosie Duffield MP (Canterbury)
Andy Wightman MSP (Lothian)
Daniel Johnson MSP (Edinburgh Southern)
Rhoda Grant MSP (Highlands and Islands)