Labour leader Ed Miliband calls for Bahrain cancellation

Bahrain Grand Prix
© PA Photos
Leader of the Labour party Ed Miliband urges Prime Minister David Cameron to add his voice to calls for the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to support the cancellation of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Miliband feels that if this Sunday's race were to go ahead it would send out the wrong signals because of the human rights issues in the Persian Gulf state.

Speaking during a visit to south Wales, Miliband said: "I certainly think it is the case that, given the violence we have seen in Bahrain and given the human rights abuses, I don't believe the Grand Prix should go ahead.

"I hope that the government will make its view clear and say the same."

Downing Street said the government remained "concerned" about the violence in Bahrain, but said it was not for the government to dictate sporting events in other countries.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander added further explanation to Miliband's calls, telling BBC News: "This is the wrong race, at the wrong time, in the wrong country. It has become the focus of very significant protests and it takes place against a backdrop of continuing repression -- more than fifty deaths in recent months.

"I think the responsible course would be for the Formula 1 authorities to think again, even at this late hour, and to cancel this race."

Both Force India and Sauber have witnessed violence outside the Bahrain International Circuit this week.

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