PEACE ACTIVISTS congregated outside Vince Cable's constituency office last week to protest against the sale of British armaments to dictator regimes.

On Friday, more than 30 people from the Richmond and Kingston Peace Council, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and other groups assembled outside Dr Cable's office in Lion Road.

Carrying placards and banners, they were protesting the UK government's involvement in the sale of arms, in particular to Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

As the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, Vince Cable is responsible for UK Trade and Investment, the government agency that promotes arms exports.

Twickenham resident, Hilary Evans, said: "UK governments of all shades have been propping up dictators around the world for years, and promoting and subsidising arms exports to them. Now we are seeing in Libya and other countries of the Arab world how those weapons have been used. Vince Cable has shown himself in the past to be a man of principle and integrity but the immense weight of his new responsibilities is in danger of crushing those principles."

The campaigners confronted Dr Cable as he attended his weekly advice surgeries for constituents.

Stopping to talk to protesters, he reiterated that although arm sales to Libya had now been cancelled, it was still acceptable to sell arms to stable regimes.

The Richmond and Kingston Peace Council are a local group that work for a peaceful resolution to conflict. They hold monthly meetings at the Quaker Meeting House, in Eden Street, Kingston.
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