Situation in the Gulf

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 5:06 pm, 22nd July 2019

First, may I pass on my best wishes to the shadow Foreign Secretary? As a cyclist myself, I know how vulnerable cyclists are in London. May I also apologise for the absence of my hon. Friend Jo Swinson, who has been detained by a leadership contest announcement in which she has been elected as the leader of the Liberal Democrats. I am very pleased that that has not required any Liberal Democrats to resign—other Members may regret that—in the way in which the leadership of the Conservative party has required some very sensible Ministers such as Sir Alan Duncan and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Hammond, to resign their positions.

In relation to Iran, it is clearly time for cool heads. I very much welcome the fact that we have the current Foreign Secretary in post and he has made it clear that we are not up for military action. Does he think that discussions now need to take place about the composition and size of our fleet? Does he agree that although we are not in an actual war with Iran, we are clearly in a propaganda war? Is he able to say a little bit about what the Government are going to do to counter the image that the Iranians are portraying of the ship perhaps going off course and colliding with another vessel?