last November and again last week, for the partition of Cyprus. It used to be – going back to the anti-colonial struggle in the 1950s – that Cyprus could rely on the UK Labour Party for strong support, and this was the case right up until the period involving Neil Kinnock and Robin Cook. It’s only when we get to Tony Blair and Jack Straw that senior Labour politicians begin to express a fanatically pro-Turkish stance.
We recall Blair’s wife, Cherie Booth, earned millions from the Turkish government when she (unsuccessfully) defended their position in the Meletios Apostolides’ case; while I came across these (unsurprising) entries in Jack Straw’s Register of Members' Financial Interests that might go some way to explaining his Cyprus outpourings:
‘15 April 2011, received fee of £2,000 for participating in a Government of Turkey conference on foreign policy in Istanbul on 24 March 2011. I was accompanied by my wife. Our travel to Ankara and Istanbul and accommodation and meals from 23-28 March 2011 were paid by the Government of Turkey; total cost £2,910. Time taken, including travel and preparation, three days. (Registered 3 May 2011).’
And a few years earlier:
‘22-26 June 2006, to Istanbul with my wife, as guests of the Turkish Government who provided us with hotel accommodation. (We paid for our own flights; see Category 5 above). (Registered 5 September 2006).’