Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“The arms export Committee does its work effectively”

Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa, House of Commons

Facts

During a House of Commons debate on Israel and Gaza, MP Gavin Newlands asked “Over 12,000 children have been butchered, with the Israel Defence Forces busy taking selfies over the ruins and bodies. What exactly will it take for this Government to suspend arms exports to Israel?” 

FCDO Minister Andrew Mitchell responded “The Government take legal advice on this matter, the arms export Committee does its work effectively, and we will continue to act on the advice that we are given when we are given it.”

Later in the same debate Labour MP Zara Sultana pointed out: “That Committee, formerly known as the Committees on Arms Export Controls, no longer exists. It last met publicly in December 2022, and last month its responsibilities were transferred to the Business and Trade Committee, which will scrutinise arms exports alongside a huge number of other matters. That means that, contrary to what the Minister suggested, this House no longer has a Committee specifically focused on scrutinising arms exports.”

Mitchell responded: “The structure of these matters is approved by the House of Commons. The regime is clear, no matter where responsibility for it sits—and it is, I believe, among the toughest to be found anywhere in the world.”

Verdict

Mitchell’s statement was misleading.

We emailed Andrew Mitchell’s parliamentary office and the FCDO offering them the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Published 28 Jun 2024
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