Dominic Raab declares he is boycotting Winter Olympics in China

5 December 2021, 11:13 | Updated: 5 December 2021, 11:39

Dominic Raab confirms he won't attend Beijing games

By Seán Hickey

The Deputy Prime Minister tells LBC that he will be boycotting the 2022 Beijing Olympics amid concerns of human rights abuses.

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Tom Swarbrick asked Justice Secretary Dominic Raab for his position on boycotting the Winter Olympics in Beijing, following on from his party colleague Sir Iain Duncan-Smith's comments to Andrew Castle.

Read more: Where is Peng Shuai? Williams 'devastated' after player vanishes following sexual assault allegation

Calls to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics have come following parliamentary reports of a genocide being committed by the Chinese Communist Party against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.

Read more: Missing tennis player Peng Shuai will make public appearance 'soon', says state media

Calls were boosted recently by concern around the safety and whereabouts of superstar Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who has remained in China since making allegations of sexual abuse against a senior CCP official.

Mr Raab declared that "the decision to send athletes is one for sporting committees" and advocated for a "depoliticised approach to sporting events"

Peng Shuai has fallen victim of social credit system, Maajid Nawaz say

Tom wondered whether the Justice Secretary would welcome a "diplomatic boycott" of the games.

Read more: Maajid Nawaz demands UK boycott Beijing Winter Olympics

Mr Raab reminded Tom that he pioneered the UK's Magnitsky sanctioning system as a method of punishing diplomats from nations guilty of human rights abuses.

Read more: Raab refuses to rule out Beijing Winter Olympics boycott over Uighur treatment

"I can tell you categorically I will not be attending the Winter Olympic Games" he declared.

When quizzed on whether his Conservative colleagues would follow his lead, the Deputy Prime Minister said "I can't speak for all of them but I can tell you that I won't."

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