MP Latham receives Ukrainian Order of Merit for her Holodomor campaign

Pauline Latham, Conservative MP for Mid-Derbyshire.
Pauline Latham, Conservative MP for Mid-Derbyshire.

Pauline Latham, the Conservative MP for Mid-Derbyshire, has been handed the unusual honour of Ukrainian Order of Merit by the country’s prime minister.

Mrs Latham, 71, was cited for her continued demands to recognise the famine, which struck Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 and killed millions, as a genocide against the people by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk said the award was “a symbol of the deep gratitude of the Ukrainians for the principled stand in support of Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,”

Mrs Latham has repeatedly called on the UK government to recognise the Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide since first speaking in the House Of Commons on the Subject in 2013.

She said: “Holodomor literally means death by starvation, and it was a campaign purposely orchestrated by Stalin to decimate a large segment of the Ukrainian population, the peasants.

“The Soviet government tried to requisition as much food out of Ukraine as possible at that time. Prosperous farmers had already been deported en masse, and religious, academic and cultural leaders had been executed.

“Men, women and children were slowly starved to death through the implementation of a policy intended to put an end to the Ukrainian aspiration for independence. ”

Mrs Latham added: “I was deeply honoured to receive the award. I still feel passionately that the Holodomor should be recognised as genocide.”