Tom Brake challenges May to stick up for Mo Farah and other Muslims


The news that everyone’s favourite athlete – Mo Farah – may not be able to return to his family in the US has encapsulated the impact of Trump’s vicious travel ban. He was, of course, born in Somalia, one of the banned countries, although he is a British citizen and does not hold dual nationality. He is currently at a training camp in Ethiopia.

Mo Farah wrote:

I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years – working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home.

Now me, and many others like me, are being told that we may not be welcome.

Tom Brake, our Foreign Affairs spokesperson, made these comments:

Sir Mo Farah’s dignified criticism of the Trump ban spoke for decent, liberal values while Theresa May was more interested in remaining friends with Donald Trump.

Sir Mo’s potential ban shows just how wide and unthinking the Trump order is. From Olympic athletes to Conservative MPs to ordinary, innocent people who simply have a different faith to the president – so many people are getting caught up in this chaotic ban.

Now that even Boris Johnson seems to understand that Theresa May has committed a huge diplomatic blunder by not distancing herself sufficiently from Donald Trump, the British government needs to demand instant clarification from the new American administration.

If our relationship with America is as special as the government claims, it must use its influence to secure safe passage for all British citizens with American visas intending to enter the United States.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice.

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  • ITN and BBC both announced Mr Farah would be exempt from the ban in the very early hours of this morning – so I’m glad Tom Brake added …..’and other Muslims’.

    The demos at JFK and other airports bring a tear to the eye – reminiscent of the Trafalgar Square gatherings outside South Africa House when there was the threat of Mandela being executed back in 1964. Remember sitting through the night there with amongst others that great Liberal and champion of human rights Eric Lubbock.

  • Thanks, David Raw. Events caught up on us. But it just highlights the anxiety that many families must be going through at the moment.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th Jan '17 - 3:24pm

    Very poignant mentioning of past demo, David Raw was on in his youth, great to see the name of Lord Avebury as he became, just alluded to him in an article I wrote on Raif Badawi, for another site,the Liberal Saudi human rights campaigner in jail, who I have brought up regularly, and whom, Lord Avebury spoke about in the Lords, to raise his profile.

  • I’m still in my youth, young Lorenzo, just a few more miles on the clock that’s all and memories of good days and good people. Put the order for the wreath on hold.

    Yes, Eric was a great and good man….. right up until the end. He could be a laugh too – wanting to leave his body to the Battersea dogs home. Of course you’re far too young to remember Jo Grimond and Jeremy Thorpe – both attended the St Paul’s service to intercede for Mandela that day. Jo had no time for stuffy nonsense – when a new Lib Peer took his seat in his robes he asked, ‘and did he look pretty ?’. J.T. would surprise (and probably shock you) by his radicalism (he wanted to bomb the railway into what is now Zimbabwe). David Steel was also a radical, leading a demo against the Springboks in his rugby mad Borders constituency…. he got his reform bill through too…. and they still re-elected him.

    But be of good cheer, Lorenzo. Cast moroseness aside. Trumpy will be a one term wonder when the Democrats get their act together. In my lifetime we sorted Adolf out when he knew Dad was on his tail, we sorted Musso out when Uncle Walter landed at Anzio with Denis Healey, and the Kaiser bolted to Holland when Great Uncle Walter went over the top. Game show hosts come and go….. as did the Berlin Wall.

  • Been watching Boris Johnson answer questions in the House on the Trump visa ban, and the emergency debate that followed led by the former Leader of the Labour Party.

    Very disappointed. Not a Lib Dem to be seen anywhere.

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