Islington MP calls for Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn has called for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix to be halted because of government crackdowns in the Middle Eastern country.

He launched a campaign in Parliament this week with an early day motion which won cross-party support.

It came as the 12 Formula One teams arrived in the Gulf state to prepare for the weekend’s event.

The race is set to go ahead despite daily disruption in the capital Manama and pledges from opponents to the governing regime to stage protests at the Sakhir circuit.

Mr Corbyn said: “This House is astonished that the Bahrain Formula One race is going ahead despite huge concerns over abuse of human rights expressed by Amnesty International and others. It notes that a trial is continuing of 52 medical professionals who tried to help victims of the suppression of protests.

“It believes that the Formula One race will be used by the Bahrain government as an endorsement of its policies of suppression of dissent. And it accordingly calls for its cancellation.”

The Bahrain race was cancelled amid violent protests last season after being scheduled as the opening event of the 2011 calendar.

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Attempts to reschedule it later in the year were unsuccessful but it was placed as the fourth event on the 2012 calendar.

Track action is scheduled to be on Friday, ahead of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.