4 Jun 2013

British union to call on British MPs to withdraw support for Fiji motion

3:15 pm on 4 June 2013

Britain's Trade Unions Congress is planning to ask British MPs to withdraw their support for a parliamentary motion on Fiji, exposed as part of a sting by reporters posing as lobbyists.

Five MPs signed the Early Day Motion introduced by MP Patrick Mercer who has resigned from the Conservative Party over the affair.

The MP was filmed agreeing to introduce the motion calling for Fiji's readmission to the Commonwealth in exchange for thousands of pounds.

In a blog, a TUC official, Owen Tudor, says the umbrella union will call for the MPs who signed the motion to make public their opposition to the Fiji regime.

Meanwhile Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports Labour MP Jim Dobbin says he signed the motion innocently and had no contacts in Fiji.

The Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock told the newspaper he signed up because he must have thought it a good idea at the time after speaking to some Fijian soldiers who were unhappy with the situation.

British parliament's official website says very few Early Day Motions are actually debated and they allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause.