Our recent trip to London on urgent family matters happened to coincided with the meeting of the Public Bill Scrutiny Committee who were taking oral evidence from various social justice campaign groups & legal experts on the Nationality and Borders Bill. Apart from a brief interaction between Barrister Adrian Berry and Stuart C. McDonald MP, the subject of Nationality, which I might add is right at the front of this bill (Part 1) was totally ignored. So much for MP's scrutiny!
We did, however, utilize our time to meet Henry Smith MP for Crawley, Scott Sherlock, Assistant to Andrew Rosindell MP, and Stephen Reed & Research Officer (Foreign Affairs) & Constituency Support. Both Henry Smith MP & Andrew Rosindell MP are strong supporters of amending the Nationality & Borders bill to include the children & grandchildren of Chagos. We introduced ourselves in-person and discussed our campaign history & goals and the hope of adding the British children & Grandchildren of Chagossian descent who are denied a pathway to claim citizenship by descent, to the bill.
We also met again with Janice Panton MBE, the UK Government Representative for Montserrat (Trent's father's British home territory), and Kimberley Durrant, the UK Government Representative for Bermuda & current Chairperson of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association 'UKOTA."
In solidarity & support with the children & grandchildren of Chagossian descent, we met some of them in Parliament Square. They are a group who wish to identify as BIOT/BOTC/British. The depth of the stories and hurt was palpable. It made our hearts very heavy, and the pure injustice was so evident. We soon realized the issue of denial of British nationality to these children is so grossly and blatantly wrong. It's not just the UK people affected, but those who are abandoned in Mauritius and Seychelles. See the photos & brief vides below.
Trent also did an interview with UK Journalist Lisa Hanley at the London studio of Colorful Radio with a view of a future four part video podcast on the impact of denied nationality on Black children of descent.
Video Clip & Photos - Parliament Square - Chidlren & Grandchildren of Chagossian Descent - Sept 21, 2021: