Oman, Uae and Iran

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 5:30 pm, 11th December 2017

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question, because although he may not know it, every year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office deals with around 20,000 consular cases, of which the ones mentioned today are only some of the most difficult. I was very pleased to see the release of the Chennai six the other day. Their relatives were not necessarily happy with the help they thought they had received from the FCO, and I noticed plenty of criticism in the media about the handling of that case, but I have to tell the House that I know that there were 50 conversations between Ministers of this Government and the Indian Government, including at least two conversations that the Prime Minister herself had, to seek the release of the Chennai six. When we look overall at the efforts made by our consular service, I really think that people should be proud of what the FCO is doing.