Abdel Hakim Belhaj got his apology, but we still lost the moral high ground
It was one of the most shaming, self-abasing apologies ever made in the House of Commons, indeed arguably in any western legislature. On Thursday, the attorney general read the prime minister’s statement saying sorry for Britain’s complicity in the abduction of a free man to live through six years of imprisonment and torture at the hands of a dictator, through which we hoped to gain information. His crime? He was the enemy of a murderous regime which realpolitik dictated we temporarily befriend.
Mrs May could scarcely have been more abject. “On behalf of her majesty’s government,” she wrote, “I apologise unreservedly… what happened to you is deeply troubling. It is clear that you were subjected to appalling treatment and that you suffered greatly.”