Miliband apologises over rendition flights
Foreign Secretary David Miliband apologised to MPs today after admitting that US "special rendition" flights had twice landed on British soil in contravention of earlier Government assurances.
Mr Miliband said in a Commons statement that on two occasions in 2002 US flights carrying terrorist suspects stopped to refuel at the airbase on the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia.
He told MPs that US officials informed the UK last week of the flights, which took place contrary to earlier assurances given by the Americans.
He said his concern about the case was shared by US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.
"We both agree that the mistakes made in these two cases are not acceptable and she shares my deep regret that this information has only just come to light," he said.
Mr Miliband told MPs that he was "very sorry indeed" to have to correct previous statements made by then prime minister Tony Blair and foreign secretary Jack Straw that rendition flights had not used British bases.
He said the cases involving Diego Garcia had not come to light before because of an "error" in an earlier US records search.
"The House and the Government will share deep disappointment at this news, and about its late emergence. That disappointment is shared by our US allies," he said.
"They recognise the absolute imperative for the British Government to provide accurate information to Parliament. I reaffirm the Government's commitment to that imperative today."
Mr Miliband said that in each of the two cases, the aircraft involved had been carrying a single detainee - neither of them British - who did not leave the plane while it was on the ground at Diego Garcia.
One of those detainees has since been released but the other is still being held by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay.
Mr Miliband said the Americans had given an assurance that no detainees had been held on Diego Garcia and that US records showed no record of any other rendition through Diego Garcia or any other UK territory.
Nevertheless, he said he has now ordered officials to draw up a list of all flights about which concerns had been expressed regarding the use of UK territory.
He said it would be presented to the Americans with a view to seeking their "specific assurance" that none of the flights had been used for rendition purposes.
- 1 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 2 Black Mass trailer: Johnny Depp might have started making good films again
- 3 Jacob Lescenski and Anthony Martinez: Straight student asks gay friend to High School prom and makes a million Twitter friends
- 4 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Head transplant: man will be attached to new body in under an hour and aim is immortality, doctor says
Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...