Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:38 am on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:38 am, 3rd October 2019

This follows on very much from what was said by the shadow Leader of the House. The rights of British nationals in prison abroad were the subject of a Westminster Hall debate in March 2018, and I echo the response of the then Minister for Asia and the Pacific, who said:

“The Government are proud to uphold a long tradition of offering British nationals a comprehensive, responsive consular service.”—[Official Report, 13 March 2018;
Vol. 637, c. 306WH.]

Consular officials in Prague have been assisting Mr Sandhu since his arrest in January 2019, and have remained in regular contact with his family in the UK throughout. I am unfortunately not able to go into the details of Mr Sandhu’s case, but I understand that officials are responding to my hon. Friend’s specific questions, which he has also raised with Her Majesty’s ambassador in Prague. Let me point him in the direction of the Foreign Office’s consular hotline to see what more support can be provided—it is worth reminding Members that there is a hotline for their exclusive use if there are consular problems—and if he will write to me, I will pass his concerns to the appropriate Minister.