Stewart was born in Hong Kong in 1973.
Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart has told Time magazine that Britain should not pay reparations for colonialism.
One of his reasons was that “rage against the British Empire is now coming from people who have never experienced the British Empire”.
Is that true? There are still plenty of people alive who experienced the British Empire.
Rory Stewart is one of them. He was born in Hong Kong in 1973 when it was a British colony.
At that time, other colonies included many of the Caribbean and Pacific islands and Zimbabwe didn’t win independence until 1980.
Even countries which won their independence earlier will have many people still alive who remember being part of the British Empire.
Countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago won their independence in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
An 80-year old Nigerian would have been 21 when they became independent.
And of course, as the effects of the Empire last long after it officially ends, even the youngest Nigerian is still experiencing them.
In political terms, the legacy of the Empire is particularly clear in the Gulf where nations are still ruled by the sons and grandsons of the dictators who were propped up by the British.
This is not the first time Stewart has come out with questionable claims. Last November, he had to apologise after claiming that “80% of the British public support [May’s] Brexit deal”.
When challenged, he admitted that the 80% figure was just him “producing a number to try to illustrate what I believe”.
Joe Lo is a reporter for Left Foot Forward
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