Ilois People/Chagos Islanders

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 16th June 2004.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Party Chair, Co-operative Party 11:30 am, 16th June 2004

I know that my hon. Friend has followed this matter for a considerable time. He will be aware that the Government do not accept any legal obligation to pay compensation to the Chagossians, not least because of the money that we have given on two previous occasions. It was agreed with the Mauritian Government and representatives of the Chagossians that that money was in full and final settlement of all claims. The High Court judgment in October last year established that the UK Government had no legal obligation to pay any further compensation beyond what had been provided already. However, I accept that there is a possibility that that judgment may be appealed.