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Saudi Penal System

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 1:18 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 1:18 pm, 13th October 2015

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his generous words, but I must stress that this is a cross-Government decision. It was reached after discussion across Government, and it is a shared, collective decision of the whole Government. It is, of course, in that spirit that I entirely understand why the right hon. Gentleman would like further and better particulars. However, I must also respect the nature of diplomatic engagement. It is necessarily the case, and understandable, that when we are seeking to influence countries to act in a way which we believe to be in their interests but which may ultimately involve a change of policy at any given point, we wish to maintain confidence in the nature of that relationship, and that means that such conversations must sometimes remain confidential.