Results 1–20 of 1200 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Rehman Chishti

Tributes to Her Late Majesty The Queen (9 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: My thoughts, and those of Gillingham and Rainham, are with His Majesty King Charles III and the rest of the royal family. I will refer to a prayer from St John Henry Newman, a great British saint with a global impact. It was a privilege and honour for me, as the then Prime Minister’s special envoy for freedom of religion and belief, to be part of the 2019 delegation led by His Majesty the...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: I am grateful to the hon. Member for asking the urgent question, and I pay tribute to his tenacious support for his constituent Mr Jagtar Singh Johal since his arrest in India in 2017. I appreciate what a difficult time this must be for Mr Johal’s family and friends. Again, I pay tribute to his Member of Parliament for all that he is doing for his constituent in these challenging...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: The first point I make to the hon. Member is that the Government’s first priority is the welfare of Mr Johal. That is the first priority of the Government, as it would be the first priority of any Government with regard to British citizens anywhere around the world. On the hon. Member’s specific point, I return to the point I made earlier—and the point that you, Madam Deputy Speaker,...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: I will take questions later, subject to what you say, Madam Deputy Speaker. The point I am trying to make, to bring the House together, is that this case has been raised with our counterparts at the highest level possible, and we will continue to do all we can to support Mr Johal in this particular case.

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: My right hon. Friend’s first point was that there are allegations in this case. Absolutely: there are allegations and there is a procedure and process that they must go through to be looked at. They are going through the High Court at this time. On that basis, I will not be drawn into commenting on that. He, and every other Member of Parliament, will recognise that if there is an...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: It is a real pleasure to face the shadow Minister, and I look forward—if I am in post—to exchanging views with her on these specific points. First, she raised the actions or non-actions of the former Prime Minister with regard to this specific case. It is important, when such an accusation is made, that it is fully and thoroughly investigated and looked at. That will be done by the High...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: The specific question that we have before the House today looks at the welfare and treatment of a British national in India, where there are specific concerns about his welfare and treatment. The United Kingdom Government have made it clear through the number of engagements and representations that we have made—nearly 100 between officials and Ministers, including Prime Minister to Prime...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: Allegations. If I may finish, what I would say is that the accusations and allegations that have been made with regard to the situation of a British national abroad need to be looked at fully and fairly, in line with India’s commitments to human rights, domestic law and international law. That is what we would regard for any citizen anywhere around the world.

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: The first part of the hon. Member’s question was about the view taken by the former Prime Minister of arbitrary detention and Mr Johal’s case. The United Nations working group on arbitrary detention has issued its opinion about Mr Johal. We take this seriously and have consistently raised our concerns about Mr Johal’s case directly with the Government of India. We are committed to doing...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: Madam Deputy Speaker, you said that brevity is a virtue, not a vice, and the answer to that question is yes.

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: I would again make the point to the hon. Member that there is a separation of powers between the judiciary, the legislature and the Executive. [Interruption.] He has made an allegation about what a former Prime Minister may or may not have known of this specific case. The matter is before the High Court. I cannot comment on this matter in that regard and I will not comment on it.

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: On whether this matter can be raised at every level, including Prime Minister to Prime Minister, the current Prime Minister, when Foreign Secretary, raised this case with her counterpart and she is fully aware of it. The case was previously raised by Prime Minister Johnson with Prime Minister Modi at the highest level, and Lord Ahmad in the other place has raised it consistently. The hon....

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: The right hon. Gentleman asks what specific information is held about what was said, and I would say to him that there is a case going on at the High Court. Subject to what Madam Deputy Speaker—or Mr Speaker—says, after that case has been held at the High Court and the determination has been made, he would be within his rights to ask an urgent question on the Floor of the House. However,...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: On the second point about consular assistance, the question that the hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire asked was about the proceedings that were to take place in court today. They did not take place because the Indian authorities did not put forward the papers for the prosecution. British officials were at that hearing today. We have been very supportive of Mr Johal, with consular support...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: I, too, have a Sikh community in my constituency, at the Byron Road gurdwara and the Franklin Road gurdwara, and absolutely, I think the point I would make on that is that the United Kingdom’s top priority is the welfare of its citizens abroad. On that basis, we will do everything we can to support our citizens abroad.

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: On arbitrary detention and the specific point about release I will again give the answer I gave earlier: the focus of these cases is always to work in the best interests of the individuals concerned. There is no blanket approach to these cases, and they are tailored to specific individuals. I am sure that the new Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will want to review this case as a...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: If the right hon. Gentleman would write to me in detail on that specific point, I can ask officials to look into it and come back to him on that technicality.

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: This case is a priority for the United Kingdom Government, and it will be a priority for the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. The Prime Minister raised the issue directly with her counterpart in India when she was Foreign Secretary, so yes, it is a priority for the United Kingdom Government.

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: The hon. Lady is correct to say that the former Prime Minister made a determination on arbitrary detention, and the United Nations working group on arbitrary detention has issued its opinion about Mr Johal. That is the point—the new Foreign Secretary and new Prime Minister will have to make a determination for themselves on this matter. The hon. Lady asked about the former Prime Minister,...

Jagtar Singh Johal (7 Sep 2022)

Rehman Chishti: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to say that we should do everything we can to support Mr Johal and his family. That is why there have been nearly 100 forms of communication between officials and Ministers and their Indian counterparts about Mr Johal’s case. It is a top priority for us, and we will do all we can to support him and his family.


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