BBC Online reports that Gary Streeter, Tory MP for SW Devon, will run a new human rights group within the Conservative Party. The group is the initiative of Liam Fox, Shadow Foreign Secretary.
Speaking to the Foreign Press Association Dr Fox said that the Conservative Party had a duty to speak up for “unheard-of crises” and “oppressed people”. His speech highlighted the human rights tragedies of Burma, Congo and Darfur. The speech suggested that Dr Fox, a confirmed Eurosceptic and Atlanticist, wishes to broaden Conservative foreign policy. In recent years Tories have narrowly focused on important issues like Europe and Gibraltar but have neglected international justice concerns.
Dr Fox also emphasized the importance of intracontinental trade within Africa if the continent really was to make economic progress:
“Africa is far too dependent on trade with the developed world. It is, of course, right that African farmers should enjoy access to free markets in the developed world. However, this is only part of the solution. There is a catastrophic shortfall in intra-African trade. An important element in developing greater access to markets in the developed world for African producers is ensuring substantial expansion in infrastructure within Africa - especially a road network, which is often non-existent. Air travel between African countries is all but impossible. Many flights from capital to capital in central Africa can be made only via London or Amsterdam. Until Africa's ability to foster intra-continental trade is built up, they will continue to over-depend on trade with the developed world.”