Syrian refugee interviewed in Germany

The refugee camp in Jenfeld, Hamburg, Germany

By Ute Reissner and Benjamin Hader in Germany:

“Nobody can live like this”: A young refugee in Hamburg speaks out

9 October 2105

Around 800 refugees have been living in a tent city since July in the outlying and impoverished Hamburg suburb of Jenfeld. The tents were erected in a park on the edge of a residential area, one of several temporary camps in which 10,000 people have been confined in the northern German city this year. The majority of the people, around one third, come from Syria, followed by refugees from Albania, Iraq and Eritrea.

While a right-wing initiative protested against the establishment of the refugee camp in Jenfeld’s Moorpark, receiving high-profile coverage from the media and politicians, many local residents and local institutions are making great efforts to assist the new arrivals.

A local school set aside one of its rooms at its own initiative as a store for donated clothing. By contrast, a sign hangs at the camp’s entrance refusing donations.
A sign at the Hamburg refugee camp rejects donorsIn the large tents put up by the German Red Cross, lines of fold-up beds are available for sleeping. There is no other space for the refugees.

In August, all camp residents had to be sealed off from the outside to treat the skin condition scabies because the outbreak had been ignored for weeks until medical treatment was provided. Doctors and other helpers have repeatedly protested over the inadequate treatment available for other infectious diseases.

The camp is surrounded by fences and heavily guarded. Visitors and the media are not allowed to enter. Through the material covering the fences, it is possible to see shameful conditions: small groups sitting around on wooden benches and others walking around. Prams are pushed across the square, while older children ride bicycles or tricycles. Several washing lines have been put up, and blankets and sleeping bags hang on the fences. Inside the fence, several containers have been set up where offices for the camp’s administrators and sanitary facilities are accommodated. Uniformed guards patrol the location and control the only entrance.

On the ground in front of the gate, some young men pass the time by playing ball. Others sit under solitary trees or on the ground, obviously trying to get some space to themselves, since there is no privacy in the camp.

Here we spoke to a young man who told us that he comes from Syria. He fetched Lieth, his friend, who speaks English and told us his story.

Lieth is only 19 years old, but appears younger. The young man made it from Damascus to Hamburg with his 16-year-old brother. He said that, in a year, he would have been finished school.

“We didn’t want to join the Syrian army, that’s why we fled,” he explained. Government officials came to his house and confiscated his passport so that he could not flee the country and avoid military service. His parents subsequently said, “If you have to go to war, you will die, either in the government’s army or one of the militias. Someone will force you to fight. There is only one way out, you have to get out of here.”

The two boys travelled first to Turkey and searched for a ship to take them to Greece. They took a train from Athens to Macedonia. The local police sold them expensive train tickets to travel towards Serbia. Roughly 6 kilometres before the border, they were offloaded in a small town.

In the middle of the night, they crossed the Macedonian-Serbian land border on foot. Then they waited for three days until they had the necessary papers to travel further. Again on foot, they walked across Serbia to Hungary.

They had barely arrived when they were detained by the Hungarian police, who wanted to identify them. When they refused to give their fingerprints out of fear, they were threatened with six months in jail. So they eventually relented. It was all in all a very bad experience, Lieth said.

After a few difficult days in Budapest, they were able to travel to Vienna on a packed train. They then obtained a ticket to Munich with great difficulty.

Friends had advised them to travel on from Munich to Hamburg. It was surely better there, not so overcrowded as in Munich. Lieth never expected to end up in a tent camp in Hamburg.

“In Damascus,” the 19-year-old said, “it was dangerous, but we at least had a house. We had a roof over our heads. I did not expect this from Germany—that one isn’t allowed to live in a house here. Twenty people are accommodated in one tent—men, women and children, all together. There is even a small baby in my tent. It is six months old.

“It is so cold at night that we cannot sleep. We walk around the whole night so we do not freeze. Many can’t cope. Every day between five and six people are taken to hospital. If one needs a doctor, it takes a long time before someone comes, if at all.

“We get something to eat here, but no money. Therefore, we can’t do anything. We can’t leave the camp, we can’t even go into the city, because we have no money for the travel ticket.

“We have no idea what is going to happen next. I always say I would like to learn German. But they always put me off—not now, another time. That’s what happens all the time. Nobody tells us about anything, they say something different each day. This is not only my experience. Friends I have made here are in the same position. We just want to learn and work.

“After all the money we spent, all the effort, after the difficult journey, we are sitting here in a tent camp and have absolutely no idea what will happen. Nobody can live like this. Occasionally I am able to speak with my mother in Damascus. She now regrets sending us to Germany.”

Stop Cameron’s war plans in Syria, British peace movement says

This video from Britain says about itself:

Syria: western military intervention will be catastrophic like in Iraq

28 August 2013

Lindsey German from Stop the War Coalition interviewed on BBC News 28.08.13 makes the case that military intervention by the western powers in the Middle East has brought nothing but catastrophe to the region. Instead of threatening to attack and pouring arms into the country, America and Britain should stop blocking attempts to find a political solution to the Syrian civil war.

By Lindsey German in Britain:

Syria: The woeful legacy of Britain’s aggression

Saturday 3rd October 2015

No level of destruction or suffering deters the PM from repeating our mistakes in the Middle East, writes LINDSEY GERMAN

TOP of the agenda at this week’s UN meeting in New York is the catastrophic war in Syria. After four years of civil war, the country has seen many casualties, huge numbers of refugees and the rise of Islamic State (Isis). Syria is now effectively partitioned, with Bashar al-Assad’s regime controlling only a fifth of the area, and with large parts in the hands of Isis.

The explosion of the refugee crisis in Europe over the summer, plus the greater intervention of Russia in order to shore up Assad, has brought the matter to a head. Yet despite the talk of political and diplomatic solutions, bombing is still very much on the agenda if David Cameron has his way.

The Tory government is desperate to escalate its intervention in the Middle East once again. In 2013 Cameron attempted to win a vote in Parliament to bomb, but was defeated. Then his target was Assad: this time he wants to bomb Assad’s opponent, Isis. The only consistency lies in the fact that in either case his solution is bombing.

Cameron is pushing for another vote on military escalation, and is likely to table such a vote when Parliament resumes sitting in October. Stepping up intervention in Syria will only increase the violence, chaos and suffering there. It will also lead to an increase in the number of people fleeing the already war-torn country.

Every intervention has led to death, injury, a massive refugee problem and continuing war in the countries affected.

Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are all still war-torn, and are all the source of huge numbers of refugees. They give the lie to the idea that Britain’s involvement is humanitarian — it is about military and political power and strategic control of the Middle East.

Britain has been the most aggressive country in Europe over the last 15 years, leading military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Yet it has done little to help the victims of the wars it so enthusiastically pursues and it has been at the forefront of opposing a humane policy towards refugees.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has broken the cross-party consensus which has prevailed for most of the past decade and a half, with Labour and the Tories both supporting wars (the vote by Labour against the bombing in 2013 was a rare if welcome exception). Jeremy faces the prospect of a number of his own MPs breaking ranks and supporting the Tories, something that makes it imperative that there is not a free vote allowed by Labour on this.

A resolution to Labour conference this week opposes bombing unless a number of stringent conditions are met — a scenario that is highly unlikely. If this resolution is passed then all Labour MPs should respect party policy and oppose Cameron’s bombing.

It also makes it imperative that those who oppose war do everything they can to make their views known to MPs of all parties, but especially to Labour MPs.

The Stop the War Coalition lobbying tool is a quick and easy way of doing this. Everyone can use the online link in two minutes to send a message to their MP calling on them to vote against military intervention. Already more than 1,600 people have done so, and we are encouraging many more to take this step.

It is not, of course, the only way in which we are campaigning. We will have a contingent at the TUC demonstration at the Tory conference this Sunday in Manchester. We are also planning a lobby of Parliament, political meetings, a petition and street protests against the bombing.

But even if you can’t attend any of those, you can send your MP a message.

Another destructive bombing campaign is no solution whatsoever. It will increase the number of refugees and help to fuel further terrorism. Tell your MP to stand against further military escalation in Syria and prevent another disastrous intervention.

The new U.S. “group think” is that Russian President Putin broke his promise to attack only the Islamic State when his warplanes hit other rebel targets in Syria. But Putin never limited which terrorists he’d hit and the targeted rebel coalition includes Al Qaeda’s affiliate, as Robert Parry reports: here.

Don’t bomb Syria, Labour party conference says

This video from Britain says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn on Syria, Trident and his Jamaican youth

30 September 2015

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tells Jon Snow why he isn’t convinced the RAF should carry out bombing raids in Syria, that he doesnt know how many MPs oppose renewing the UK’s Trident nuclear weapon and that he spent his youth in Jamaica.

By Luke James in Britain:

Labour MPs told: Don’t bomb Syria

Thursday 1st October 2015

No air strikes without UN backing, says conference

LABOUR members issued clear instructions to their representatives in Parliament yesterday not to sanction air strikes on Syria without UN authorisation.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell called for a free vote if PM David Cameron stages a second vote on bombing Syria.

But conference backed a Unite motion demanding that MPs oppose intervention without stringent safeguards.

Proposing the motion, Unite delegate Ivan Monckton said: “It’s time to get behind diplomacy and end the Syrian civil war.

“Labour must once more stand up for peace and against another Cameron war. Now is the time for peacemongers not warmongers.”

The resolution will not be binding on MPs.

Meanwhile Mr Corbyn created a stir after stating that he would never push the nuclear button if he becomes prime minister.

Unleashing nuclear weapons would be “immoral,” Labour’s leader said as the shafted debate over Trident renewal continued to be a blot on an otherwise upbeat conference.

Asked whether he would launch a nuclear strike if he was in No 10, Mr Corbyn answered: “Would anybody press the nuclear button?”

“They’re the ultimate weapon of mass destruction that can only kill millions of civilians if ever used,” he added.

“I am totally and morally opposed to nuclear weapons. I do not see them as a defence.”

Seeking to prevent a war of words, Mr Corbyn pointed out the vote over Trident renewal was not for another year and pledged to “live with” the party’s decision.

But he branded nuclear weapons a cold war relic that “didn’t do the US much good” on September 11 2001.

UK Labour conference ends with attacks on Corbyn over nuclear weapons and Syria: here.

One refugee girl, two brothers, reality-based fiction

This video from Turkey says about itself:

2 September 2015

Where’s Humanity? Bodies found washed up a Turkish shore of Syrian children refugees who tried escaping war.

The core of this story is a dream which I had last night. However, there is so much reality in it that it is not fiction in the narrow sense.

Stormy in the Mediterranean.

The tiny overloaded Libyan fishing boat is minutes from capsizing, drowning all Syrian, Libyan, Iraqi and Somali refugees aboard.

Then, suddenly, a Maltese coast guard ship which happened to be in the same part of the sea.

The refugees jump on board. However, there is Maryam Haddad. A fictional name, for reasons of privacy, like most names in this story.

The ardous journey from Syria has weakened ten-year-old Maryam with her headscarf on. She jumps, but falls into the merciless waves.

For the last time, she cries out for help.

Too late … but then, Maltese coast guard officer Peter Zammit jumps into the water, grabbing little Maryam.

‘Now they will both drown!’ one of Peter’s colleagues thinks. But another colleague throws a lifeline, saving Peter and Maryam.

There happened to be a photographer on the ship. Many TV stations, radio stations, newspapers and Internet sites reported on this rescue.

Some of the reports praised Peter Zammit as a hero. Not so Katie Hopkins in The Sun daily, owned by Rupert Murdoch:

As I have proved before, these so-called ‘refugees’ are not refugees at all. They are cockroaches. Cockroaches are vermin which you should not leave alive. Peter Zammit, this ‘hero’ of the liberal media, is in fact a traitor to western values. He aided and abetted the towelhead invasion of Europe. Ten-year-old Maryam, looking so innocent on the liberal media photos, won’t be innocent in four years time. Then, she will breed ten or more Islamic terrorists, as we all know muzzies breed with the speed of rabbits.

The morning after the media publicity, Peter Zammit’s wife Rosie found her husband dead just outside the front door, dressed in his pyamas. A gun laying next to him.

A police inspector said: ‘This is either suicide, or foul play trying to make it look like suicide. Peter cannot be buried yet. We have to investigate’.

‘Suicide?’ Rosie exclaimed to the inspector. ‘Impossible! We were always happy together. I had told Peter how proud I was about what he had done to rescue that girl. I am expecting our first child. Peter looked forward so much to becoming a father. Yesterday night, before falling asleep, we had talked about how we would educate our child. We had agreed that if the child would be a girl, we would call her Maryam, after the Syrian girl whom Peter saved’.

A Maltese newspaper interviewed Peter’s older brother Cain. Cain looked much like Peter. Like Peter, he was a law enforcement officer: police, not coast guard. But that was about all these two had in common.

‘So, Peter is dead?’ Cain said. ‘Does not surprise me really. Maybe suicide as he finally realized that do-gooder saving of Muslim so-called ‘refugees’ basically is just aiding and abetting genocide of the white race. I read Ms Hopkins column, and she tells the truth. It is also possible that someone who was fed up with liberal commie faggots like Peter killed him’.

‘You call your brother a faggot’, the journalist said, ‘Do you have any proof that he was a homosexual?’

‘Well, proof … proof is a big word’, Cain said. ‘But I have suspected him all my life really. When we were teenagers, I asked him to help me shooting birds. But, no sir, not Peter. He said: ‘These birds have come such a long way to Malta, and still have such a long way to go. Let them live.’ No real man would ever say such a thing. Only a liberal commie sentimental sodomite like my goddamn own brother would say such a thing’.

When the police inspector read the interview, he thought he should ask his colleague Cain Zammit some questions.

As Cain entered the room, the inspector said: ‘Colleague Zammit, I have sad news. The DNA traces on the gun laying next to your murdered brother Peter match with your DNA’.

Cain Zammit face went very disturbed, ashen. Only for five seconds. Then, he composed himself. ‘Yes, I did kill that f-ing faggot commie liberal. Not only did he save that muzzie vermin from drowning. When he was still in the police like us, he arrested a man for killing a golden oriole. ‘Poaching‘, my goddamn so-called brother called that! As we both know, I would never arrest a man for such sportsmanship.

At midnight, I rang his doorbell. I was lucky that Islam lover woke up and opened the door, while his wife kept sleeping. The rest was easy.’

For the information of Cain Zammit and others: the Haddad family was Christian, not Muslim. The Middle Eastern custom of headscarves for women dates from the Christian Byzantine empire, before the rise of Islam.

Maryam Haddad’s parents asked the authorities: ‘Please, please allow us to attend the funeral of Peter Zammit, who saved the life of our little girl’.

The authorities replied: ‘You are in an asylum seekers camp. No one is allowed to leave that camp’.

Daoud Haddad cried for hours. Leyla Haddad cried for hours.

War on Syria, by British satirist Mark Steel

This video from Britain says about itself:

Mark SteelStop the War Coalition – Afghanistan Time to GO! Part 1(of 2)- 26.07.10

By comedian Mark Steel from Britain:

Bomb both sides in Syria and we’ll fix the country in a jiffy

We could also bomb Hell, and within a month the residents would say ‘We were better off under Satan’

Thursday 24 September 2015 18:18 BST

Some people get confused by events in Syria, but they’re not that complicated. Quite simply, we need to bomb somewhere or other out there, like we should have done two years ago. Back then we should have dropped bombs to support the Isis rebels fighting against the evil Assad. But as we didn’t bother, we now need to put that right by bombing the Isis rebels, and protecting Assad.

Because if only we had bombed Assad back then, it would be much easier to bomb Isis and their allies now, as we would be one of their allies so we could bomb ourselves. And we could do that without the fuss of going all the way to Syria, which would cut down on carbon emissions as well.

Also, we could ask Isis if they had any bombs left over that we had given them, “as we need them back to bomb you please”.

The change has happened because back then, you may recall, Assad was so unspeakably evil he had gassed his own people. But now we have decided we support Assad so I suppose we have found out the gas wasn’t so much a chemical weapon as a Syrian version of Febreze, that has left Aleppo with an alluring scent of lemon.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned against bombing, saying “Syria is not Libya, it won’t implode but explode beyond its borders.” So that might not be too cheery, if he is saying things will not necessarily go as smoothly as they have turned out in Libya.

If you were really fussy, you could look for another example of a western invasion in the Syria/Iraq region in the recent past, and find out how well that went. But where we went wrong in Libya and Iraq, is we only bombed one side.

This is the sort of pacifist behaviour that causes the trouble. We should have bombed all the different sides, to make sure we annihilate the right people.

Sometimes we have tried this to a certain extent, so at different times we have armed Assad and Gaddafi and Saddam and Bin Laden and then bombed them for using the bombs we had sold them. But it is not organised properly and leaves the poor sods confused.

Instead of supporting Arab dictators for 20 years, then opposing them for three, and then supporting them again, we should arrange it on a rota system. We could bomb them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, bomb their opponents on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and leave Sundays for US construction companies to make some money rebuilding the stuff we have bombed, so there is something new to bomb.

Otherwise we are left with the predicament Tony Blair finds himself in. He complains that we didn’t bomb Assad two years ago. But, in 2002, Blair invited Assad to stay at Buckingham Palace and praised his modernising outlook. If he had used my suggested system, he could have grovelled to him on Thursday, then bombed him in his bedroom on Friday. I’m sure the Queen wouldn’t have minded sleeping on a mate’s settee for a couple of weeks while builders repaired the damage.

The silly thing is, it’s now claimed there are secret units of the IRA – who have kept their weapons against the rules of the peace process. It would have kept them out of mischief if they had been asked to bomb Blair’s pals such as Assad and Gaddafi, as long as they did it on one of the agreed days, and it would have strengthened the Northern Ireland peace process as well.

There could also be a surprise element to which side we bomb, with vast commercial potential. Instead of the same predictable places popping up, there should be an international body that chooses the venue, with Sepp Blatter opening an envelope to reveal “next year the place we have to bomb as we can’t just do nothing is… Finland”.

Then, whenever someone suggests bombing Finland will make things worse, columnists and politicians and blokes in pubs can shout “well, we can’t do NOTHING”.

This argument, that we can’t do NOTHING, is powerful and well thought through, because it’s clear from Western military interventions in the Middle East that no matter how bad the situation is before we go there, we manage to make it worse. This must have taken immense planning in Libya, but was worth it because everyone seems to agree that most of the country looks back on their days under the foul, despotic, murderous tyranny of Gaddafi with a dreamy nostalgic affection.

We could bomb Hell, and within a month the residents would say “We were better off under Satan. At least he kept the demons under some sort of control.”

Maybe the problem is we are not entirely trusted. This goes to show what a touchy people they are out there. We do all we can to support the spread of democracy by arming the royal family of Saudi Arabia and the Amir of Kuwait and the honourable folk who rule Qatar, and go out of our way to support people with titles such as “Mighty Wizard of Eternal Vengeance and Holy uber-King who can make up laws as he goes along, Divinely Grand Swisher of the Majestic Whip and his Million Wives of Bahrain”, and the little sods still doubt our honourable intentions.

But now there is an even more urgent reason to back the bombing of somewhere or other, which is we must do it for the refugees. The Sun newspaper, in particular, has been running a campaign that we “Do it for Aylan”, the three-year-old lad who was drowned as his family fled from the horrors of Isis.

I suppose they must have spoken to Aylan’s family, who would have told The Sun that bombing somewhere or other is exactly what he would have wanted.

U.S. gives up effort to train Syrian opposition forces: here.

Don’t bomb Syria, British Afghanistan veteran says

This video from Britain says abiut itself:

BBC Inside Out – Dealing With Afghanistan

7 February 2011

BBC Reporter and Reservist officer, Lieutenant Clive Lewis recalls his struggle to come to terms with life on civvy street after a 3 month tour of Helmand Province‘s frontline in 2009.

By Luke James in Britain:

MPs would lose lust for war if they saw it

Thursday 24th September 2015

Lewis hits out at ‘knee-jerk’ bid to bomb Syria

POLITICIANS would think twice about bombing Syria if they had ever experienced war, according to a Labour MP who served in Afghanistan.

Clive Lewis, who has represented Norwich South since May, took part in a three-month combat tour in 2009 with the Territorial Army reserves.

In an interview with House Magazine published yesterday, he explained how the experience informed his opposition to a British military intervention in Syria.

He said: “As someone who, to be quite frank, has had my fill on my short tour of Afghanistan of death and mayhem, I sometimes think if we had a few more MPs in there seeing the direct consequences of their lust for war, maybe they’d think twice about it.”

The former soldier spoke out after Tory PM David Cameron insisted this month on “hard military force” to defeat Islamic State (Isis) in Syria.

Though MPs blocked bombing in 2013, Mr Cameron is building support for a second vote to sanction British participation in US-led raids.

Up to half of Labour’s shadow cabinet supports bombing if the government can prove it is legal.

But Mr Lewis branded it a “knee-jerk reaction,” saying the consequences and effectiveness of bombing “hasn’t been thought through.”

“Let’s go for the diplomatic options first and exhaust them rather than this knee-jerk reaction that we see in this house time after time, which is: ‘We’ve got a problem in the Middle East — bomb it.’

“I’m tired of it.”

Syria could be the subject of a contentious debate at Labour conference, which begins on Sunday. Left Labour activists have tabled an emergency motion which says the party should only back bombing if it is authorised by the UN.

Mr Lewis also defended leader Jeremy Corbyn for not singing God Save the Queen at last week’s Battle of Britain memorial service.

He said: “I would have said I served in the army, I don’t think my love for my country and my patriotism can be defined by a song — from a very jingoistic period of our history — singing about what I believe to be a non-existent deity, saving an unelected head of state.

“To try and define your patriotism based on that is preposterous.”

WE OWE Labour MP Clive Lewis a debt of gratitude for his frank warning about the drift to war on Syria. Lewis speaks with authority, as someone who saw first-hand the “death and mayhem” of Afghanistan: here.

While there is a defensive character to Russia’s military intervention in Syria, it is nonetheless thoroughly reactionary. It is directed not at defending the people of Syria, or, for that matter, protecting working people in Russia itself. Rather, it is aimed at upholding the interests of the Russian ruling elite, which Putin’s regime represents: here.

David Cameron’s Libya, Syria, pig scandals, fellow Conservative reveals

This video from Britain says about itself:

Twitter reacts to Lord Ashcroft’s Cameron biography excerpts

21 September 2015

Lord Ashcroft‘s biography on PM David Cameron have caused a stir after portions were printed in the Daily Mail today. One particular allegation has caught the imagination of Twitter users, causing a small meltdown overnight.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

David Cameron accused of ‘doing an Iraq‘ in Libya as general and White House official condemn ‘incompetent’ PM’s actions

A source at the White House claims they were ‘f****ed over’ on Libya and Syria

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith

Tuesday 22 September 2015

David Cameron’s actions over Libya have been condemned by a former Tory chairman as “doing an Iraq” while his decisions on both Syria and Libya left the White House feeling “f****ed over”, according to revelations made in a new book.

Former Tory chairman Michael Ancram made the comparison between Mr Cameron’s actions in Libya and Tony Blair’s in Iraq, in a new unofficial biography of the Prime Minister entitled Call Me Dave and written by former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft. The book is being serialised in the Daily Mail, where the claims have been published.

Mr Ancram tells the authors – Lord Ashcroft and journalist Isabel Oakeshott – that Mr Cameron’s decisions over Libya have left the country “ungovernable… with vast amounts of weapons from Gaddafi’s arsenal moved south of the border, arming Boko Haram.”

A senior American government insider allegedly said the White House felt “f****ed over” by Mr Cameron on both Libya and Syria, while General Sir David Richards allegedly told the Prime Minister that being in the Combined Cadet Force at Eton did not make him qualified enough to make decisions over complex military operations and the tactics employed in them.

One White House insider is quoted as saying: “It was one of those astonishing displays of incompetence that sort of leaves you wondering about how, you know, have we all got this far?”

The revelation of Mr Cameron’s apparently poor handling of Syria and Libya follows Lord Ashcroft’s extraordinary allegations that the Prime Minister reportedly “inserted a private part of his anatomy” into the mouth of a dead pig and that he smoked cannabis while studying at Oxford University.

In an unauthorised biography of the Prime Minister entitled ‘Call Me Dave’ and serialised in the Daily Mail it is alleged that an anonymous MP knew of a photograph of the incident with the pig’s head, which is claimed to have taken place during a notorious Piers Gaveston Society event although the anonymous MP adds that it could have been a case of mistaken identity and that he had not seen any evidence himself.

The book has been written by ex-Conservative party treasurer Lord Ashcroft, who has donated millions to the party in the past.

It is also alleged that Mr Cameron knew in 2009 of Lord Ashcroft’s “non dom” status – a year earlier than the Prime Minister had previously said to have known. The revelation that Lord Ashcroft did not pay UK tax on his overseas earnings was made in March 2010. At the time the Prime Minister said he had only known of the situation for a month.

The Prime Minister and the Tory peer fell out after the general election when Lord Ashcroft failed to be given a top position in the Coalition government in 2010, though he claims the work is “not about settling scores”.

The book has been co-written by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who also denied the book was written out of revenge. She told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One: “If this was just a revenge job, Lord Ashcroft and I could have published it ahead of the election.”

British politicians are obsessed with bombing the Middle East, says Afghanistan veteran MP. Clive Lewis says launching airstrikes in Syria is a ‘knee-jerk reaction’: here.