The Government has been called upon to clarify the role it played in voting Saudi Arabia’s onto the UN Human Rights Council, after the kingdom executed 47 people in a single day sparking a backlash across the Middle East.
Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks last year purported to show that the UK was involved in a secret vote-trading deal to help ensure both countries a place on the influential panel.
The exchanges, related to the November 2013 vote in New York, were published by The Australian newspaper and have never been commented on by UK officials. Both Britain and Saudi Arabia were later named among the 47 member states of the UNHRC, following the secret ballot.
David Cameron has been accused by human rights campaigners of “turning a blind eye” to Saudi abuses, particularly in light of the killings this weekend that included the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
And speaking to The Independent, there were cross-party calls for the Government to issue a full response to last year’s alleged leak.
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