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Libya — [Mr Christopher Chope in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:37 am on 26th October 2016.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Minister (Defence) 10:37 am, 26th October 2016

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Chope. It is also a pleasure to follow Patrick Grady, who is the Scottish National party’s spokesperson on foreign affairs and international development.

Back in 2005 I had the opportunity to visit Libya with the Foreign Affairs Committee. It was very different in those days. Gaddafi reigned supreme, and I found, as we all did, the country to be a paranoid place, covered with posters of Gaddafi—“the father of Africa”—with his portrait stemming out of a map of the whole of Africa. It was a deeply disturbing place; there were no street signs or even road markings because they were so scared of invasion. We did not have the opportunity then to meet Colonel Gaddafi—I never met him, thankfully—but we met his deputy, Musa Kusa, who was one of the most sinister people I have ever met. During the revolution he “defected” to the west and came to live in Britain. I do not know if he is still here, but he gave us a portrait of Libya in 2005 that was worrying to say the least, given the human rights abuses and the absolute authority of Gaddafi and the way he dealt with opposition.