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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sophie Huskisson

Six Chinese officials leave UK after protester beaten outside Manchester consulate

China has removed six officials from the UK in response to an investigation into the beating of a protester outside its consulate in Manchester.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protester Bob Chan was beaten in the grounds of the Chinese consulate in October.

Greater Manchester Police opened an investigation after images of the beating circulated on social media.

Earlier this month the police asked the Foreign Office to request the Chinese Government waive the immunity of the Chinese Consul General and five of his staff so they could interview them.

But today the Foreign Secretary said that the six members have either left the UK or will leave shortly.

James Cleverly said he was “disappointed that these individuals will not be interviewed or face justice”.

The incident at the Chinese consulate, pictured, sparked a diplomatic row (THE CHASER NEWS/AFP via Getty Im)

In October, the campaigner said that staff from the building had ripped down pro-democracy posters before he was beaten.

"They dragged me inside, they beat me up," he said.

He went on to say that he was then pulled out by UK police.

"It's ridiculous. They (the attackers) shouldn't have done that. We are supposed to have freedom to say whatever we want here (in the UK)."

Mr Cleverly said: “We all saw the disturbing footage of the incident outside the Chinese Consulate in Manchester.

“In response to that we initiated a process based on our adherence to the rule of law.

James Cleverly said he was 'disappointed that these individuals will not be interviewed or face justice' (AFP via Getty Images)

“Greater Manchester Police initiated an investigation, and as part of that investigation requested that six Chinese officials waive diplomatic immunity so they could be questioned.

“We informed the Chinese embassy of that and we set a deadline which expired today, making it clear that we expected them to take action in response to our request.

“The Chinese government have now removed from the UK those officials, including the Consul General himself.”

"They dragged me inside, they beat me up," said Bob Chan, pictured right (Getty Images)

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said: "It is right that the Chinese government has withdrawn these officials from the consulate following the appalling incident in Manchester.

"The Foreign Secretary was too weak in his initial response by leaving the summoning of the Chinese Ambassador to FCDO officials.

"The UK government now needs to act with a consistency in its approach to China, after years of flip-flopping and failing to deliver their long-promised China Strategy.

"Labour has committed to a full audit of UK-China relations. In government, we will stand firm on national security, human rights, and the rule of law."

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