Shamima Begum and Other Cases

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:41 pm, 11th March 2019

The hon. and learned Lady suggests that because journalists are getting into Syria—into some of the camps—that it is perfectly safe, then, for British officials to enter. She will know, first, that that is a decision for journalists to make. She will also know that, thankfully in most cases—even in war zones—journalists have some degree of protection. If it was a British official, it would be a very different category of risk, and I know that she would recognise that.

The hon. and learned Lady also made a reference to women foreign terrorist fighters. All I would gently urge is that no one should make a judgment on the threat that a foreign terrorist fighter poses to our national security based on their gender. That would be entirely wrong.

The hon. and learned Lady has also questioned the legality of such decisions. As I have said—I am happy to repeat it—these decisions are never taken lightly and are based on both expert security advice, intelligence advice and legal advice. As to the last part of her question, the Minister for the Middle East, my right hon. Friend Alistair Burt, will be making a statement later in which he will cover that point.