Former Chief Secretary Anson Chan, has slammed the Hong Kong government’s handling of the extradition crisis, saying it may be time for the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, to step aside in favour of someone who can resolve the situation.

In an interview with the BBC’s Hard Talk late on Thursday, she criticised both the Central Government for not keeping its promises to respect the ‘one-country, two-systems’ principle, and said Mrs Lam was not facing up to the situation.

“Since she has shown no indication of making some of the very difficult decisions to – as it were – lower the temperature, and find a way through this current impasse, then she should make way for somebody else,” said Chan, who was chief secretary from 1993 till her retirement in 2001.

“There is no leadership at the moment. Effectively, Hong Kong at the moment is a rudderless ship and the captain has left the bridge,” Chan said.

She said she supported the underlying causes of the protest movement.

“It is about Hong Kong’s fight to defend basic freedoms, civil liberties and to demand political participation through fair and open elections on the basis of ‘one man, one vote’ – all of which are promised in the Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law,” Chan said.

She also rejected the description of the protests as ‘confrontation’.

“Why is it protest and confrontation when all the protesters are asking for is for Beijing to keep to the promises they made to the people of Hong Kong in the Joint Declaration and in the Basic Law guaranteeing our freedoms (and) our civil liberties?” Chan said.