Counter-Daesh Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:34 pm on 7th November 2017.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Finance Committee (Commons) 2:34 pm, 7th November 2017

The Foreign Office says that it has three strategic objectives, the first of which is protecting our people. I fear, from the bluster that the Foreign Secretary has shown today, that he has learned absolutely nothing about what has happened in the past week. He said in his statement: “My point was that I disagreed with the Iranian view that training journalists is a crime, not that I wanted to lend any credence to Iranian allegations that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been engaged in such activity.” But what he said to us as a Committee last week was this:

“When we look at what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing, she was simply teaching people journalism”.

There is not a single eight-year-old in the country who could not say to the Foreign Secretary, “This does not match what you said last week.” Not a single eight-year-old would not be able to tell the Foreign Secretary how to do his job better. I fear that, if he cannot show some contrition today, then the honest truth is that he should not be in his job, because our people are not safe.