Uk arms sales Liz Truss
© Reuters / Faisal Al Nasser ; Reuters / Toby Melville
(Main) Saudi Arabian F-15SA fighter jets (Top right) UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss
UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has been ridiculed online after claiming the government had accidentally granted two military export licenses for Saudi Arabia, despite pledging to freeze weapons sales to Riyadh.

Truss was forced to apologize to the Court of Appeal on Monday for the "two inadvertent breaches," revealing that she had launched an urgent departmental inquiry into the "errors."

The UK suspended arms sales to the Kingdom in June after the court ruled that ministers had acted unlawfully by not determining whether weapons could be used against civilians in the war in Yemen. As a result, the government stated that no new licenses would be issued to Saudi Arabia while a review is conducted.

Truss' rather comical admission has been seized upon by many people on social media. Jacobin Journalist Dawn Foster joked that "You can accidentally use your housemate's coffee instead of your own," but she struggling to understand how this mess up could happen easily.

Fellow journalist and author Laurie Penny urged people not to be too hard on the international trade secretary, as "accidentally" selling weapons is something we've all done at some point.

"Just the other day I got a bit carried away on eBay and found I'd bought three cheap dresses and an aircraft carrier. These things happen. We're all human," Penny jested.

Others joked that the problem must be the "one-click ordering system" the UK government has set up.


Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade, which brought the original legal challenge, said: "If the government cannot be trusted to follow its own rules, or an order from the Court of Appeal, then it must immediately end all arms exports to the Saudi regime."

Before the court ruling in June, 40 percent of arms made in the UK were sold to Saudi Arabia.