The reception is an annual event and is usually hosted by the Council of Arab Ambassadors, including all Arab ambassadors in the UK who meet regularly to discuss Arab-British relations.

The Arab ambassadors canceled the reception at next week’s Labor party conference after claiming that Saudi and Sudanese representatives were barred from attending. The League of Arab States sent a letter to all UK MPs stating “Unfortunately, the Council of Arab Ambassadors has taken the decision to cancel its annual reception and buffet dinner and boycott the Labor Party conference this year, due to the rejection of the application of both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sudan to attend the conference.”

The reason for this boycott is that the national executive committee of the Labor party conference had refused to accept the Saudi Embassy’s application to attend the event because of the country’s military campaign in Yemen. As for Sudan, the Arab League claimed Sudan’s application was rejected, Labor said it was not received.

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said “We are selling arms to Saudi Arabia — and at the same time we are sending aid in, we should not be doing both.”