UK politicians revive St Helena group on eve of polls

The all-party Parliamentary group for St Helena has been revived in London, close to what could be the most important general election in the island’s history.

It comes after Vince Thompson of the St Helena Independent talked with Lord Jones of Cheltenham and Sir Bob Russell at separate meetings in Westminster.

The group had not met since the Coalition Government came to power.

At the meeting with Lord Jones – also attended by Simon Pipe of St Helena Online – a number of concerns were raised about issues on the island, including infrastructure and lack of open government.

Lord Jones was strongly supportive of the campaign to introduce freedom of information legislation and end excessive secrecy on the part of the island’s executive council.

He continues to receive informal briefings by email  – including an update on the election and the abrupt departure of fisheries expert Mark Brumbill amid allegations of unspecified threats against his family.

The all-party group held an annual general meeting on 4 July 2013. 

Sir Bob, who led the fight in Westminster for Saints to be given back their British citizenship after it was removed by Margaret Thatcher, was re-elected as chairman.

Meg Munn MP is a vice chair.

Ten government and ten opposition names are the minimum needed for the group to be legitimate.

Two Labour peers, Lord Snape and Lord Brookman – both former union leaders – were brought in to make up the numbers.

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