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Philip Hammond faces quiz by MPs over Tunisia travel advice after beach massacre

Published 21/07/2015

Thirty Britons were among the 38 dead in the beach massacre in Sousse, Tunisia
Thirty Britons were among the 38 dead in the beach massacre in Sousse, Tunisia

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is facing questions from MPs over his decision to urge British tourists leave Tunisia in the wake of last month's beach terror attack.

The Foreign Office has advised holidaymakers to return home warning that a further attack in north African country remains "highly likely".

But the decision to update the advice almost two weeks after a gunman killed 38 people - including 30 British nationals - in the beach resort of Sousse led to criticism at home and abroad.

The Tunisian government expressed concern it would have a devastating effect on the country's tourism industry while some holidaymakers questioned why they were being told to leave when other European nationals were not.

The chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Crispin Blunt has said they could press Mr Hammond on the reasons for the decision when he appears before them today.

Speaking earlier this month, Mr Blunt said: "The Government stood with the people of Tunisia in the immediate wake of the gun attack and didn't immediately change the travel advice when you might have expected them to do so.

"It's not clear from the detail of Philip's statement, and it may not be possible that he can say more, but this may be an opportunity for the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to ask him these questions."

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