IBBC host Labour shadow minister following its annual Council Meeting.

Following its full annual council meeting IBBC hosted Mr Bambos Charalambous, the Labour MP and shadow minster for Middle East and North Africa, at the at the Cavalry & Guards club, courtesy of Brigadier James Ellery.

A number of members were in attendance and also including diplomats from the Iraqi Embassy.

Mr Charalambous gave an interesting and open speech covering Labour’s approach to the region, which included a strong intent to understand and discuss and understand issues with countries and partners in the region as a first stage in any relationship. The general framework with which his party will approach the region is based on expanding UK’s soft power and supporting a stronger role for the DIT and FCDO in expanding trade. Potentially reversing the cuts made to the British Council and some overseas territories. Human rights are also important, and he understands that being a good trade partner should not deter the UK from telling truth to power and calling out disapproval when it comes to Human rights abuses. Overall, he called for a more robust approach from the UK government in relation to supporting British trade overseas.

Mr Charalambous then fielded a substantial questions and discussion session with members .

The event was also attended by Baroness Nicholson in her capacity of President of IBBC, and who is also Trade Envoy for Iraq, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan