MP Gisela Stuart (Lab) raised Richard Gere’s briefing to MPs with Prime Minister David Cameron during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions, when the House of Commons is generally packed with MPs. (The question, which is 26 minutes into the debate, can be viewed on the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b072sycm/prime-ministers-questions-02032016 or on C-Span in the U.S. http://www.c-span.org/video/?405837-1/british-prime-ministers-questions).
In her question, Ms Stuart asked whether the Prime Minister would follow the example set by the United States, Canada, Germany, the EU and Japan in a rare joint statement and write to the Chinese authorities to express his concerns about “the oppressive counter terrorism laws introduced in Tibet”. The Prime Minister said in his response that he would “look closely” at what Mr Gere had raised with MPs.During his visit to London this week, Richard Gere had meetings with the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP (pictured), in which they discussed China’s policies in Tibet and the importance of the Dalai Lama as a great leader of our time. In 2012, Mr Bercow hosted a lunch in the Speaker’s Chambers for the Dalai Lama during his visit to the UK to receive the Templeton Prize at St Paul’s Cathedral.
In a separate meeting, British Parliamentarians met Richard Gere at Westminster to discuss the situation in Tibet and how best MPs can support the Tibetan people. Current Chinese policies were discussed and the fears that new and more systematic measures represent new dangers for the survival of Tibet’s unique religion and culture. The importance of Tibet’s environment as the earth’s Third Pole was also raised, with reference to ICT’s report on water in Tibet. The group included Tim Loughton (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tibet), Gisela Stuart (Lab), and Chris Law (Scottish National Party) pictured below.