Chair of LFY sends a letter to PM asking for a leading role to push for a lasting peace in Yemen

2 November 2020: With great sadness, Labour Friends of Yemen (LFY) mourns the death of Abdul Razak Mossa, one of its founding members and the CEO of Liverpool Arabic Centre, who passed away on Monday 2nd of November 2020, in Liverpool.

Mossa has devoted his life to serving the Arab community in Liverpool and the UK for many years. He was well recognised for his exemplar leadership with distinguishing activities in the areas of education, cultural development and social services.

His departure is a great loss for LFY as well as for the Yemeni and Arab community in the UK.
On behalf of LFY’s members, we extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to his family and to all his friends and loved ones. 

13 October 2020: Chair of LFY, Gill Furniss MP,  during the Foreign Office questions, pressing the UK Government on civilians’ casualty due to Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen.

23 September 2020: Kim Johnson MP speech against the threatened deportations of Yemeni asylum seekers back to a country experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

The British Government Responds to LFY’s Chair Regarding FSO Safer Tanker

 London, 10 September 2020: Gill Furniss MP, Chair of Labour Friends of Yemen, received a letter from James Cleverly, the Minister for Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), in response to the letter she sent, along with other Labour MPs, last July regarding the British government urgent action to prevent the humanitarian and environmental disaster in the red sea caused by the FSO Safer oil tanker.

In his letter Cleverly described the tanker as “an environmental disaster waiting to happen”. He stated that “unless UN experts are allowed to access it, we are facing a catastrophic environmental threat”.

Cleverly pointed out that the Houthis “cannot continue to hold the environment and people’s livelihood to ransom”. “In support of UN efforts, we have raised this directly with the Houthis and with other leaders to try averting an avoidable crisis”, he added.

Cleverly confirmed that the British government is also working with the UN and other donors to insure a sufficient fund and contingency plans if the spill of oil occur. He said “it is in everyone’s interest, especially the suffering people of Yemen, that this tanker is made safe immediately”.

In response to LFY the British government affirms its support for Yemen in facing Coronavirus pandemic 

7 September 2020: Gill Furniss MP, Chair of Labour Friends of Yemen, received a letter from James Cleverly, the Minister for Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), in response to her questions in Parliament regarding the British government's recent assessment of the level of risk to Yemen of Covid-19 pandemic.

In his letter Cleverly stated that modelling funded by the Department for International Development predicts that Yemen could suffer up to 85,000 COVID-19 deaths in a worst case scenario. He confirmed that the British government, in response to such a prediction, is “disbursing its £160 million commitment to Yemen promptly this financial year to help the UN to tackle the spread of COVID-19”.

Cleverly added that the British government expects the fund to provide over 700,000 medical consultations for a range of health conditions, train 1,500 healthcare workers to work safely in COVID-19 environment and provide a much-needed boosts to nearly 600 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

It is worth noting that Labour Friends of Yemen had sent a letter to the British Foreign Secretary last April calling on the British government, the United Nations and the international relief organizations to intensify their efforts and develop an action plan to help the Yemeni people to face Covid-19 outbreak. 

Chair of LFY and other Labour MPs urge the UK government to play a key role within the international community to prevent the humanitarian and environmental disaster caused by the FSO Safer oil tanker.

Labour Friends of Yemen calls on the UK government to take urgent action in support of the city of Aden which has been devastated by torrential rains and flooding.

Labour Friends of Yemen calls the UK government and the International Community to urgently support confronting the Coronavirus pandemic in Yemen

LFY called on the UK government, the United Nations and International Relief Organisations to intensify their efforts and put in place an operational action plan to help the people of Yemen with this looming outbreak. This came in a letter sent to Mr. Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which contained a number of urgent demands to initiate an effective health response plan in Yemen as the spread of COVID-19 will undoubtedly have incalculable consequences and intensify the human suffering of an already fragile war-torn country.

New Chair for LFY

Labour Friends of Yemen are excited to announce that Gill Furniss MP will be our new Chair. She will be replacing the much esteemed Stephen Twigg, who has been a guiding light since our inception back in February 2019.

Gill Furniss is the Labour MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, representing the community since 2016. She is also Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities (April 2020).

Gill has already been an active, honorary member of our Advisory Board, and worked with our team to help support and engage the Yemeni community. She has served and networked tirelessly to strengthen our community’s social partnerships and political participation. We very much appreciate her commitment and are looking forward to working with her to further develop British-Yemeni engagement and improve the lives of millions of Yemenis, making a real difference to their future, especially during this critically devastating Covid-19 crisis.

We will continue to work together for peace, justice and prosperity in Yemen, and support it’s people as they face another major humanitarian crisis.

Our Launch Event at the House of Commons, Wednesday 13th of February

In the presence of a large and unprecedented gathering held yesterday in the House of Commons, Graham Jones MP and Steven Twigg MP co-hosted the Launch Event for Labour Friends of Yemen.

The Event was exceptionally well attended, with Keith Vaz MP, a number of members from the Labour shadow government, Labour Party MPs, members of local councils, His Excellency the Yemeni Ambassador to the UK, community leaders and activists from across the United Kingdom. A remarkable and promising beginning for our team!

Labour Friends of Yemen is a forum within the Labour Party for constructive discussions and responsible debates on matters related to Yemen, with the aims to promote and advocate a clear vision for supporting the country to reach peace and help its people to rebuild a modern state based on principles of democracy, human rights and equal citizenship.