Results 141–160 of 1900 for speaker:Heather Wheeler

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Kashmir: Armed Conflict (10 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: We continue to monitor the situation in Kashmir and we urge all parties to refrain from actions that could jeopardise regional stability. We are in regular contact with the Governments of India and Pakistan. The Prime Minister has underlined the importance of resolving issues through dialogue to his counterparts in both India and Pakistan. Most recently, the Foreign Secretary discussed the...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Children: Abduction (10 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: The FCO provides information on International Parental Child Abduction on GOV.UK, as well as country specific information for Japan. The British Government continues to work closely with our Japanese partners to ensure the 1980 Hague Convention is operated effectively. In 2019, Japan introduced new legislation, which should come into effect in 2020, with the aim of improving the enforcement...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: This has been a lively and at times impassioned debate, and it has been a testament to the strength of feeling throughout the House and the country that no one should suffer discrimination, violence or persecution because of their faith or belief, or for not following a faith. I shall try to respond to all the points raised and highlight the UK’s action on this issue. First, we are deeply...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I thank my right hon. Friend for his intervention. That idea has been mentioned a couple of times and I will come to it in a little while.

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: The hon. Lady’s intervention epitomises how difficult this matter is and how skilful our wonderful civil servants and others need to be on this matter. In Iraq, the UK has committed more than £260 million in humanitarian support over the past six years. That funding has provided a vital lifeline for emergency food, shelter, medical care and clean water to the most vulnerable in Iraq,...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. He has put his views on the record.

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: With DFID offices in her constituency, the hon. Lady must realise that that is a question for DFID. Again, the civil servants in the Box will have heard what she said and, as I said to my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton, I am sure that they will reply to her. We have talked about other areas where the UK Government are particularly encouraging the Nigerian Government to do more to...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I thank my hon. and gallant Friend for that strong intervention. He has, again, absolutely put the point on the record, and the Government are under no illusions about the power of being the penholder in the United Nations Security Council—work in progress, my friend. In November 2019, during Iran’s universal periodic review, we urged that our specific recommendations be accepted and...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I thank the hon. Gentleman for that question; I will get to that in the next paragraph. As I said at the start, the Government are committed to implementing the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s review. I stress again that the recommendations do not focus just on Christians. As has been mentioned, only two of 22 recommendations refer to specifically Christian issues. Bishop Philip...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I am sure that my hon. Friend would have shared his letter if I had written just to him. [Interruption.] Of course he would; he’s a good Christian boy. I would be delighted to approach the answer to his question in the way he describes, to help all Members of the House.

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I thank the hon. Gentleman for repeating that very important point. I thought that I had mentioned that we condemn all forced marriages. If I did not say it loudly enough, I say it again now. My civil servants in the Box will see what we can do about making that a central point.

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I am grateful. My hon. Friend has been in this Parliament for so long that he knows all the intricacies; sometimes, however well-meaning our colleagues are, the practicalities of actually achieving what they would like to achieve might be slightly more constrained and long-winded than perhaps they might have thought would be the case. I am very glad that he has put that on the record.

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: Of course. Forgive me if I did not say it loud enough, but I will be happy to repeat it now: I will get somebody from DFID to write to my hon. Friend with the answers to her questions. The Government believe passionately that everyone should enjoy the same freedom to choose and practise their religion, or to hold no religion at all. We will continue to strive for that to become a reality for...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I beg to move, That this House has considered the matter of the persecution of Christians. I am very grateful to all hon. Members who want to contribute to this debate today. The suffering of men, women and children persecuted for their faith or belief is a matter of deep concern to the Government. The Prime Minister’s special envoy on freedom of religion or belief, my hon. Friend the...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: It is a number I recognise, and if my hon. Friend is able to stay for the rest of the debate, he will hear me talking about that figure in a little while. In the meantime, we use what data is available from the excellent non-governmental organisations in the field, and—here we are—one of them, the highly regarded Open Doors, estimates on the 2020 world watch list that a staggering 260...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: The hon. Lady is a doughty fighter on the matter of the Uyghur; she has corresponded with me on this matter a number of times. Now that we have left the EU, we are setting up our own sanctions Magnitsky scheme, and where there is clear evidence of named people, we can take that forward. We have also announced that it is our intention to use our position as a permanent member of the United...

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: I thank my hon. Friend for his pertinent intervention. “Tolerance” is perhaps an underused word; we might consider it to be a British trait, but we ought to make sure it works right across the board and across the world. I will come on to blasphemy laws a little later.

Persecution of Christians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: My hon. and gallant Friend puts forward a noble cause, but I am afraid I must write to him on that. So, we call out specific countries, as I have mentioned, and through our extensive diplomatic network we also lobby Governments for changes in laws and practices, and we raise individual cases of persecution. As the House will understand, the safety of the people we support is paramount and,...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Armed Conflict: Civilians (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: The Government is finalising work on the review of its approach to the Protection of Civilians (PoC) in Armed Conflict. We were unable to meet the previously stated publication date as we were required to adhere to the rules governing the publication of documentation in the run up to the December 2019 General Election. We will aim to publish a document outlining the Government's approach to...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: India: Nationality (6 Feb 2020)

Heather Wheeler: The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions across India are following reports on the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens, as well as the Government of India's response. We raise our concerns with the Government of India where appropriate. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon discussed the Government of India's...


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