Arrest of Julian Assange

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:34 pm, 11th April 2019

The right hon. Lady can intervene later if you allow her, Mr Speaker—that is possible. However, I want to finish my comments in response to hers.

The right hon. Lady also talked about the UN, as though the UN had some opinion on this issue. I am sure it was not intentional, but she was at risk of not giving quite correct information, because the UN has no view on the Assange case. I think she was actually referring to the view of a group of independent persons who decided to look at this case. They do not speak for the UN in any way whatever. It was a small group of individuals who came up with a deeply flawed opinion, suggesting that somehow Mr Assange was indefinitely detained in the UK by the British authorities. In fact, the only person responsible for Mr Assange’s detention is himself—it was entirely self-inflicted. It is astonishing that the right hon. Lady should even bring up that report and suggest that, somehow, it was a UN view or a UN report.

Then the right hon. Lady talked about the US request for extradition. I will not be drawn into the request for extradition; it is rightly a matter for the courts. Should the courts deem it correct and necessary at some point to send a request for extradition to me, I will consider it appropriately under our laws.

I note that the shadow Home Secretary, both today and in the past—and indeed the Leader of the Opposition —have defended Assange and WikiLeaks from efforts to tackle their illegal activity. They could have clarified things today for the British public; the right hon. Lady could have done that on behalf of the Opposition, but she did not. Why is it that, whenever someone has a track record of undermining the UK and our allies and the values we stand for, you can almost guarantee that the leadership of the Labour party will support those who intend to do us harm? You can always guarantee that from the party opposite.