Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 3:39 pm, 22nd July 2019

I share the hon. Lady’s assessment of the deteriorating political situation in Hong Kong. I also share her revulsion at the scenes we saw on our television screens over the weekend. We have called for an independent inquiry, and we would like to know what the scope of such an inquiry would be. That is important, particularly since the situation is evolving. When we originally called for such an inquiry some time ago, we were presented with certain facts, and we were calling for such an inquiry on the basis of what we knew at that time. Things have changed since then, and different things have happened, and we would like such things, including the weekend’s events, to form part of that inquiry.

This is a rapidly evolving piece, but we need to know to what extent the inquiry will be full, comprehensive and, as the hon. Lady is right to say, independent, which is crucial. It probably is not sufficient simply to have an internal police inquiry, which is what the IPCC would be in a Hong Kong context, and it really does need to involve Hong Kong’s excellent and well-respected judiciary.

I cannot really speculate on the nature of the individuals who are responsible for last night’s attacks, and it would be very premature to do so. Those things would need to be explored in any comprehensive inquiry, and the hon. Lady will understand that it would be unwise and unreasonable to speculate at this stage, although she will have seen the same press reports that I have.