- Some parliamentarians have eaten meat at Westminster having been assured it was halal
By Chris Hastings
The Palace of Westminster has rejected demands to serve halal meat in its restaurants.
Muslim MPs and peers have been told they cannot have meat slaughtered in line with Islamic tradition because the method – slitting an animal’s throat without first stunning it – is offensive to many of their non-Muslim colleagues.
The stance has infuriated some parliamentarians who have eaten meat in the Palace’s 23 restaurants and cafes, having been assured that it was halal.
Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said: ‘I did feel misled. I think a halal option should be made available.’
In 2010, the Mail on Sunday revealed schools, hospitals and restaurants were serving halal meat to unwitting customers.
Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Somerfield and the Co-op all said they stocked meat slaughtered according to Islamic tradition without letting customers know.
Fast-food chains including Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, KFC, Nando’s and Subway are also using halal meat without telling customers, it was revealed.
Members of the Church of England have complained that the spread of halal meat was ‘effectively spreading Sharia law’ across Britain.
However, a spokesman for the House of Lords and the House of Commons confirmed that it was not served in their restaurants.
Alison Ruoff, a member of the Church of England, said: ‘It’s a bit hypocritical that the Houses of Parliament, which have allowed other people to provide halal food, have ruled it out on their own premises.’
When the meat is slaughtered, Islamic verse is uttered before the animal has its throat slashed.
At Halal slaughterhouses thousands of birds are killed every hour.