Consular Support: UK Nationals Overseas

Part of Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at on 5 November 2019.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

As a Geordie, may I say what a pleasure it is to hear your northern tones bring order to our proceedings, Mr Speaker?

My constituent Christine Scott was falsely arrested and imprisoned in Ghana. She is disabled, with severe mobility issues, yet the sum total of her consular support during the 16 months of her ordeal was a list of lawyers. She remains deeply traumatised, but the Minister has yet to respond to my inquiry. His Department has suffered cuts of 30% since 2010 and now fights for funding with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development—a situation that the Foreign Affairs Committee said was “unsustainable”—so what is he doing to ensure that the first priority of consular services is to support citizens like Christine and not to cut costs?