'Foreign Office should not allow Queen to dine with a despot'

A former Foreign Office minister has criticised the decision to invite the King of Bahrain to a lunch hosted by the Queen today.

Denis MacShane said that the Foreign Office should have intervened to prevent his presence at the lunch in light of recent allegations of human rights abuses:

Arab nations must let their citizens vote in free elections and let them speak without fear of arrest, torture or death. For too long we have turned a blind eye to the repression carried out under the rule of royals in Arabia. The FCO should protect the British Queen rather than expose her to having to dine with a despot.