Protesters accuse premier of strong-arming airport staff

By Neil Connor in Beijing

Flight and ground staff joined the thousands protesting. Photo / AP
Flight and ground staff joined the thousands protesting. Photo / AP

A dispute over hand luggage belonging to the daughter of Hong Kong's chief executive sparked angry scenes at the territory's international airport yesterday.

Leung Chun Ying, the controversial leader, was rattled by months of unprecedented protests in 2014 over political interference from Beijing.

Yesterday the protests returned, but this time at the airport, with more than 2000 cabin crew, ground staff, passengers and politicians voicing their anger at an alleged abuse of power.

They claim he pressured airport staff to give his daughter special treatment, bypassing security protocols in the process.

The controversy began when the chief executive's daughter, Leung Chung Yan, a 23-year-old Cambridge economics graduate, was waiting at the boarding gate for a flight to San Francisco.

She suddenly realised that her hand luggage had been left in the main terminal of the airport, beyond the security gate.

Leung's critics accuse him of telephoning the airport to demand they allow his wife, travelling with their daughter, unfettered access to the airport's security zones to retrieve the bag.

Leung says it was his daughter who contacted airport staff after she was advised to by security staff.

However, Leung's office did not specify why his daughter could not collect the bag herself.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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