Tim Loughton: West Sussex MP detained following 'criticism of Chinese regime'

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An MP from West Sussex who was detained and deported by an East African country believes his expulsion was a ‘direct consequence’ of his criticism of the Chinese regime, The Telegraph has revealed.

Tim Loughton, the Conservative MP of East Worthing and Shoreham, was detained for more than seven hours at the airport during a visit to Djibouti this month for a 24-hour visit, including meeting the British ambassador.

The Sussex-born MP was barred entry to the country on April 8 and was told he was being removed on the next available flight, the Telegraph reported.

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Mr Loughton told the Telegraph he believes his ‘intimidating’ detention and expulsion by the Djibouti authorities was a ‘direct consequence’ of his criticism of the Chinese regime.

A former MP from West Sussex who was detained and deported by an East African country believes his expulsion was a ‘direct consequence’ of his criticism of the Chinese regime, The Telegraph has revealed. Photo: Tim Loughton. Credit: Richard TownshendA former MP from West Sussex who was detained and deported by an East African country believes his expulsion was a ‘direct consequence’ of his criticism of the Chinese regime, The Telegraph has revealed. Photo: Tim Loughton. Credit: Richard Townshend
A former MP from West Sussex who was detained and deported by an East African country believes his expulsion was a ‘direct consequence’ of his criticism of the Chinese regime, The Telegraph has revealed. Photo: Tim Loughton. Credit: Richard Townshend

The MP was part of a group of parliamentaries sanctioned by Beijing in 2021 after criticising human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

It is understood the Foreign Office is seeking an explanation from the Djibouti authorities, while Mr Loughton has written to the Djibouti ambassador to protest about the ‘outrageous’ behaviour.

Speaking about Mr Loughton’s experience, MP Peter Bottomley, who represents the Worthing West constituency, said: “I’ve got a lot of time for Tim Loughton. I probably don’t agree with everything he upholds (apart from anything else, the government), but he has shown himself over a good number of years to be a serious, hard-working and determined politician, defending children’s rights and education, as well as pointing up potentially adverse Chinese influence in the UK and overseas.

"If any Conservative MP deserved to survive the apparent forthcoming tsunami, he, in my opinion, would. Shame that he is choosing to step down.”

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