The Young Liberals, the youth and student wing of the Liberal Democrats, have today passed a motion at their summer conference agreeing that it is no longer appropriate for Vince Cable to remain a member of the party. The action was taken following the grandee’s comments on the plight of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province of China.
In an interview with the Independent, Cable claimed that there was “questionable evidence” of a genocide in China, and that “the genocide allegations are particularly horrific since they put the Chinese regime’s behaviour on the same moral plain as the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and Pol Pot’s murderous Killing Fields”.
Similarly, while appearing on GB News, the former leader said that the labelling of actions taken against Uyghurs as a genocide was “hyping the language”.
Peter Banks, the International Officer of the Young Liberals, said “Uyghurs in Xinjiang have faced horrific abuse by the Chinese government, including forced sterilisation, torture, restrictions on childrens’ names, destruction of religious sites, forced separation of families, and detainment in re-education camps.”
“These atrocities undoubtedly meet the international definition of genocide, and it’s a disgrace that the former leader of a liberal, democratic party would seek to undermine emerging international campaigns to put an end to the abuses of Uyghurs.”
Janey Little, the Policy Officer of the Young Liberals, added that “It’s a shame to have to have to have passed this motion regarding the public statement of any member of the Liberal Democrats, let alone such a high profile figure. But if we saw figures in any other party seeming to deny a genocide, we would rightly be calling for resignations. In the face of such appalling abuse of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, there is no room for hypocrisy - we must call out genocide denial wherever we see it.”
The motion passed by the youth organisation’s conference called both for Cable to retract his comments and for the Young Liberals to explicitly express that Cable’s membership of the party was no longer appropriate.