Labour Party wants Vedanta out of London Stock Exchange

Shadow Chancellor’s call follows Thoothukudi killings.

Updated - December 01, 2021 06:11 am IST

Published - May 25, 2018 09:37 pm IST - London

John McDonnell

John McDonnell

Britain’s opposition Labour Party has called for Vedanta Resources to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange to “remove its cloak of respectability”, following the killing of protesters in police firing in Thoothukudi earlier this week.

“The news from Tamil Nadu that 13 protesters against Vedanta have been killed is shocking and demands action,” said John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor.

Earlier incidents

“After the massacre of the protesters this week, regulators must now take action. This is a major multinational company that for years has operated illegal mining concerns trashing the environment and forcibly evicting local people. Campaigners and international NGOs like Amnesty International have accused Vedanta of a string of human rights and environmental abuses in India, Zambia and across the globe,” Mr. McDonnell said.

The Shadow Chancellor has been a consistent critic of Vedanta Resource’s track record. In 2015, as a backbench MP, he tabled an Early Day Motion (a means for MPs to draw attention to issues) in Parliament, expressing “grave concern” over the death of over 40 workers in the collapse of a chimney in 2009, and deploring the steps the company took to “suppress” publication of a judicial report on the issue. The signatories included Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, then also a backbench MP.

Activists’ protest

A protest by the campaign group “Foil Vedanta” and “Tamil People in the UK” is due to take place outside the Indian Embassy on Saturday afternoon.

“This corporate massacre on a peaceful environmental movement must be the last straw,” Samarendra Das of Foil Vedanta said.

“It is disgusting to learn that a British company has put its profits above human cries for safe air to breathe and water to drink,” said Karthik Kamalakannan from Tamil People in U.K., which has several thousand members across the country.

The London Stock Exchange declined to comment on the issue.

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