More than half of the countries in the world rated as ‘not free’ are ruled by regimes that the British government supports.
More than half of them are ruled by regimes supported to varying degrees by the United Kingdom, Declassified has found.
Britain sells arms, provides security training or has troops deployed to at least 36 of the countries listed as “not free”, comprising 56% of the total.
The regimes range from absolute monarchies to those run by authoritarian leaders who hold unfair elections or subject territories to military occupation.
The findings undermine the British government’s constant claim to be a “force for good” in the world.
Boris Johnson’s 2019 election manifesto said “our alliances with like-minded democracies” were a reason “for the UK to hold its head high”.