Gambia quits Commonwealth

Gambia has quit the Commonwealth, justifying the shock announcement made on state television by saying it would "never be a member of any neo-colonial institution".

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh addressing the United Nations General Assembly last month. Credit: PA

In an unexpected move the West African nation did not give any other clear reason as to what had caused them to withdraw from the Commonwealth, an organisation of 54 nations, most which were formally under British colonial rule.

A statement read out on TV said: "The government has withdrawn its membership of the British Commonwealth and decided that the Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism."

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said they would "much regret" Gambia, or any other country's, decision to leave the Commonwealth.