Hong Kong’s biggest critic is under pressure after being caught up in the “Tory sleaze” crackdown in the UK.
Politician Iain Duncan Smith is facing questions about taking £25,000 (about HK$265,000) a year for a “second job” advising a huge sanitizer company—while making decisions that benefited it.
He chaired a UK government taskforce which recommended use of alcohol-free hand sanitisers but his report failed to mention his relationship with the company that provides the UK National Health Service with 92 per cent of that product.
He’ll get little sympathy from Hong Kong. Sir Iain, who likes to be known as IDS, has been a relentless source of often wildly inaccurate allegations about Hong Kong.
While a significant number of the people charged with rioting or throwing petrol bombs have been given lenient sentences or even found not guilty, Sir Iain paints Hong Kong as a lawless place where guilt is pre-determined for every arrested person.
“They are going to find them guilty anyway,” he told the UK parliament. “Imprisonment for 10 years to life is now the norm.”
Sir Iain also told parliament, without evidence, that “Uyghur massacres” were taking place, going further even than the extreme US allegations about the Chinese minority.
While few people doubt that China, following a series of terrorist attacks, keeps a heavy hand on Uyghur extremists in Xinjiang, few countries have backed US claims which require a re-defining of the word “genocide”.
Duncan Smith is a friend of Benedict Rogers of Hong Kong Watch.
Picture at the top is a parliamentary image which has been placed in the public domain.