The Daily Telegraph

Chinese delegation banned from attending lying in state

- By Jack Maidment

CHINA has suggested the UK is guilty of failing to show “proper manners to guests” after it emerged that a Chinese government delegation will not be allowed to attend Queen Elizabeth II’S lying in state in Parliament.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, has imposed a ban on Beijing’s representa­tives entering Westminste­r Hall to pay their respects.

He is understood to have refused a request for access amid a dispute between Parliament and the Chinese government over sanctionin­g of MPS.

A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said it had not seen reports about the ban but argued that the UK “should uphold diplomatic protocols”.

He said: “The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is an important event for the United Kingdom.

“Foreign delegation­s participat­ing in the event upon invitation from the United Kingdom is a sign of respect to the Queen and the importance accorded to [relations with] the United Kingdom.

“As the host, the United Kingdom should uphold diplomatic protocols and proper manners to guests.”

Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, has been invited to the late Queen’s state funeral on Monday but he is not expected to attend and it is thought that Wang Qishan, the country’s vice-presi- dent, could be sent in his place.

However, while China will be represente­d in some capacity at the funeral at Westminste­r Abbey, its officials will not be able to attend the lying in state a stone’s throw away.

Westminste­r Hall forms part of the parliament­ary estate and as such is under the control of the Commons Speaker and the Lord Speaker.

A spokesman for the House of Commons said he would not comment on security matters. A spokesman for Sir Lindsay declined to comment.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Admission to Parliament is a matter for Parliament.”

The decision to refuse entry to the delegation is likely to inflame tensions between Parliament and Beijing.

China sanctioned nine individual­s and four organisati­ons from the UK – including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former leader of the Conservati­ve Party, and four other Tory MPS – in March last year after Britain imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

The decision to ban the Chinese delegation from the lying in state comes after the sanctioned MPS sent a letter to the speakers this week seeking assurances that representa­tives from Beijing would not be allowed into Parliament.

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