Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:28 pm on 11 September 2023.

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Photo of Martin Docherty Martin Docherty Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence) 5:28, 11 September 2023

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. On 20 July this year, I and more than 70 right hon. and hon. Members from all parties wrote to the Prime Minister regarding the case of my constituent Jagtar Singh Johal. Questions were addressed directly to the Prime Minister on whether he would raise the case of my constituent when he met his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, at last weekend’s G20 summit, and on whether he would ask for his release, given the plethora of organisations, including the United Nations, that have deemed his detention to be arbitrary.

I do not come to the House today to complain about the tardy ministerial response; instead, my grievance lies in the fact that it was not the Prime Minister who replied to me but a junior Minister from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office who sits in the other House. Only the Prime Minister would be in a position to answer, because only he was in the room with Prime Minister Modi and in a position to ask the questions about Jagtar. What recourse do we have as Members, Mr Deputy Speaker, when correspondence with His Majesty’s Government, including the primus inter pares, who is also a Member of the House, is treated with such disrespect?