Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 pm on 23rd March 2017.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 12:00 pm, 23rd March 2017

I encourage the hon. Gentleman to seize his opportunities at questions to those two Departments. From my fairly recent experience of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I can assure him that human rights, including religious freedom, are taken very seriously throughout our network of posts abroad and in London. It is also sometimes the case that persecuted religious minorities themselves prefer for their plight to be addressed in the context of the expression of broader concerns about human rights, precisely because they do not want to be further singled out for additional persecution. There is an element of judgment in how we go about this task, but the centrality of that to the mission of the FCO and DFID is something about which I hope I can give him some firm assurance.