A delegation of Chinese officials reportedly has been barred from visiting the historic hall in Parliament where Queen Elizabeth II is lying in state, as geopolitics cast a shadow over the solemn pageantry surrounding the monarch’s death.
The spat broke out as the government said it was temporarily stopping people from joining the line to file past the queen’s coffin as the wait for those at the back hit 14 hours. On Friday morning the line stretched for 5 miles (8 km) from Parliament to Southwark Park in south London and then around the park.
The government says the park is now full and entry to the queue is being “paused” for at least six hours.
The Chinese ambassador to the U.K. has been banned from Parliament for a year after Beijing sanctioned seven British legislators last year for speaking out against China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority in the far-west Xinjiang region.
The office of House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle declined to comment Friday on the report in Politico of the Chinese delegation being barred from visiting the queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament.