Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27 March 2001.

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Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs) 12:00, 27 March 2001

I do not recall the Labour Opposition of the late 1980s fulminating much about Mr. Mugabe, either.

Does the Foreign Secretary agree that Mr. Mugabe was presented with a massive propaganda coup when he was received in state recently by the Prime Minister of Belgium and the President of France? The Foreign Secretary has said that written advice was given to the Belgian Government. Will he publish that advice? Is he aware that Belgian MEPs are saying that not only did the British Government appear unconcerned about the visit, but that they were privately supportive of it? What does that shabby episode say about the Foreign Secretary's willingness to stand up for ethical values, and what does it say about his influence with our European partners?