We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Britain's Place in the World

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 6:39 pm on 15th October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary 6:39 pm, 15th October 2019

I am not taking any more interventions. I do not have enough time.

So can I ask the Minister of State: does that really sound like relishing our global duty to tackle injustice, or does it sound more like shrinking away?

On Sunday it will be a full year since the previous Foreign Secretary stood at the Dispatch Box talking about accountability for the death of Jamal Khashoggi. He said:

“There remains an urgent need to establish…who authorised the dispatch of 15 officials from Saudi Arabia to Turkey…if the appalling stories we are reading turn out to be true...there will be consequences and of course it will have an impact on the relationship with Saudi Arabia.”‘—[Official Report, 22 October 2018;
Vol. 648, c. 79-82.]

A full 12 months ago, despite the fact that the CIA and the UN have reached their own conclusions on who ordered the murder, and despite the fact that the previous Foreign Secretary talked about the urgency of the investigation, we have not seen a single conclusion from this Tory Government, let alone any of the consequences that they promised us would follow. So again, can I ask the Minister of State: if the last Foreign Secretary’s words at the Despatch Box meant anything, and if the current Foreign Secretary’s words in Manchester meant anything, will the Government finally do their duty, indeed relish doing their duty, to give justice to the family and friends of Jamal Khashoggi, or will they keep shrinking away?

Mr Speaker, when basic crimes against humanity have been committed in Yemen, or in the embassy in Istanbul, and when crimes against humanity are being committed in northern Syria today, we need a Government who will lead the world in tackling that injustice, and we need Foreign Office Ministers who will walk the walk, not just talk the talk.