Uttlesford District Council votes this evening (Tuesday, 23 February) on an opposition motion to immediately implement an ethical investment policy, thereby cancelling investment in a project with Moog Space and Defense. However, members of the ruling Residents for Uttlesford are planning to strike out the motion and remove all reference to human rights in ethical investment. Click here to sign the petition on the council’s website.

Oxfam has issued this statement:

Martin Butcher, Oxfam’s conflict adviser said: “I am appalled that Uttlesford council would profiteer from the toxic conflict in Yemen. I can only hope that they were unaware that this company is presumably looking to export arms from the UK now that the US has announced an end to all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen including relevant arms sales.

“I would urge Uttlesford District Council to abandon their plan immediately. We know that Moog provide “sustainment services” for the F15 bomber aircraft, and Saudi Arabia has a large fleet of F15s that carry out airstrikes in Yemen that often hit civilian houses, farms, health centres and water supplies.

“By allowing new licences for £1.36 billion of arms exports to Saudi Arabia the UK government has acted immorally – now Uttlesford is following their reprehensible path.

“I hope that Uttlesford, and all Councils, would adopt an ethical investment policy that would preclude this kind of deal, investing instead in companies and projects that improve life, not end it.”