£19.9m settlement for Kenyan Mau Mau rebels


Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced a final settlement with 5,228 Kenyan Mau Mau claimants, totalling £19.9m.

The British fought a bitter battle with Mau Mau insurgents who were demanding land and an end to colonial rule in the 1950s. More than 5,000 Kenyans say they were mistreated - some through torture - by the then-British administration.

On 6 June 2013, Mr Hague said he would would like to "make clear now that we understand the pain and the grievance felt" and that "British government sincerely regrets that it took place".

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn said he was "a bit surprised" that the British government offered compensation to the rebels but "continues to deny liability for what happened'.

In reply, William Hague said he did not agree that "the British taxpayer, generations on, [could] be held liable for what happened then".

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander highlighted the "cross-party consensus that exists on this issue" and recognised that "the scale of the suffering was profound and deeply regrettable".

He asked the foreign secretary which departmental budget was funding the settlement. Mr Hague told him it came from the Treasury reserve and added: "That is what it is there for."

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