I informed the House on 16 May 2011, Official Report, vol 528, column 161, that the Government intended to provide additional practical and material support to the National Transitional Council (NTC), as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. I can now confirm that the following additional equipment has been granted to the NTC for the sole use of the civilian police force.
5,000 sets of body armour;
6,650 police uniforms;
5,000 high visibility vests and t-shirts;
Communications equipment for police stations.
Provision of this equipment is fully in line with UNSCRs 1970 and 1973, including the arms embargo. This equipment will enable the civilian police to carry out their functions more securely and better protect NTC representatives and the significant international and NGO communities in Benghazi, Misrata and other areas of Libya now controlled by the NTC.
Under the HM Treasury guidelines set out in “Managing Public Money” these items are grants and grants-in-aid to the NTC and not gifts. Therefore Crown immunity applies to the supply of body armour and an export licence is not required. The other equipment does not require export licences. However, I am committed to keeping Parliament informed, which is why I am setting this out in a WMS.