Jonathan Taylor: SBM Offshore

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 9th November 2020.

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Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 3:41 pm, 9th November 2020

I shall endeavour to answer my right hon. Friend’s questions as best I can, but I think it is important to recognise that it is a requirement of the Vienna convention on consular relations that signatories do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. I am sure she understands that.

As I said, we have no evidence that Mr Taylor’s arrest is linked to whistleblowing on corruption at SBM Offshore. If evidence emerges or if there is an indication that the process is incorrect, we will of course look again.

My right hon. Friend asks about contact with Monaco. The British embassy in Paris has approached the Monégasque prosecutor’s officer to obtain more information about the charges against Jonathan Taylor, which are not specified further than bribery and corruption; we await a response. I assure her that we are providing consular support, and we are in contact with Mr Taylor and his family. We have also spoken to his UK lawyer and to the Monégasque prosecutor’s office to request the details of the charges. I can only reiterate that, if we receive evidence that Mr Taylor’s arrest is linked to his whistleblowing activities or that due process is not being followed, we will consider what further steps we can take to support Mr Taylor.