A visit to Britain by the Saudi crown prince came under fire from human rights campaigners protesting at breaches of civil rights in Yemen?
The protests, which included an outspoken attack by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, came during a three-day official visit by Mohammed bin Salman (pictured with Theresa May), during which he lunched with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. He also dined with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.
Campaigners rallied near Parliament and several hundred held a protests outside the gates of Downing Street. The Saudi government is engaged in a diplomatic mission to improve relations with Britain but stands accused of funding extremism in the UK. He is also accused of committing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia in spite of attempts to present the world with a reforming profile and of intervening in a war in neighbour state Yemen and the deaths of thousands of civilians.
During Prime Ministers questions in the Commons Corbyn claimed Saudi was responsible for putting millions at risk from starvation with the British military colluding in a war which is in breach of international law. He said UK personnel are directing the Saudi military campaign from Riyadh.
The Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable condemned ministers for “rolling out the red carpet” and providing the equivalent of a state visit to “a dictatorial head of a theocratic, medieval regime”. He called on the Government to demand that the Saudis end the “systematic bombing of civilian targets in Yemen which the Prince has initiated”.
Bin Salman’s reform-promoting tour includes Cairo and New York.