An open letter to Liam Fox about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

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Dear Mr Fox/Liberal Democrat Voice

As a Cabinet Minister I am astonished that on the Today program you have claimed that we must be careful not to “over-react” about Boris Johnson’s comments over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. If your wife was stuck in jail on trumped up charges I don’t think you would be saying that.

Nazanin has already appeared in court since the careless comments of the Foreign Secretary.

Comments that are now being used against her. As a consequence she may face another five years in prison.

One of the primary duties of the Foreign Secretary is to help protect British citizens abroad. If Mr Johnson is unable to do that then he has failed in the basic part of his job description.

His MP, Tulip Siddiq, is rightly angered by Mr Johnson’s comments as she and Richard Ratcliffe have been crystal clear that Nazanin was on holiday when she was arrested. Her employer doesn’t even have any operations in Iran.

All of the hard work by Richard and his supporters risks being undone.

Making a private statement to the Iranian ambassador simply is not enough. The Foreign Secretary needs to retract his comments immediately in the House of Commons to leave absolutely no doubt as to the position of the British government. If he is unwilling or unable to do so then this is a sign of a government which has totally lost any moral compass it may have had.


Chris Key

* Chris Key is dad of two girls, multilingual and internationalist. He is a Lib Dem member in Twickenham who likes holding the local council and MPs to account.

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  • David Becket 7th Nov '17 - 6:46pm

    Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary, except when Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State, and Court Buffoon, puts the boot in.

  • Yeovil Yokel 7th Nov '17 - 7:03pm

    I have this recurring nightmare in which Boris Johnson has been appointed as the UK’s Foreign Secretary (yes, ridiculous I know) and then I wake up in a cold sweat and realise with relief that it was just a figment of my imagination – wasn’t it?

    Do us all a favour Boris and offer to swap places with Nazanin.

  • I an appalled by Johnson’s statement and think he should be held to account. Liam Fox is being very weak and trying to gloss over the damage his blundering colleague caused.

  • If as a result of this Nazanin receives more time in custody then he must resign. All one hopes is that behind the scenes a method of obtaining her release is being concluded.

  • nigel hunter 7th Nov '17 - 8:35pm

    This brings to mind Priti Patel with her ‘trip?’ to Israel. Not only breaking the rules but talking about giving OVERSEAS AID to weaponry. Is this the right wing Tory Brexiteers streatching their muscles for after 2019?

  • In any ‘government’ worthy of the name Patel and Johnson would not be sacked but would not have been given ministerial positions in the first place…
    What we have is a PM who lacks any authority and finds herself out of her depth…Her ministers are out of ‘parental’ control and doing their own thing…
    Those of us who remember the last days of Major’s tenure see this as, not just a repeat, but as ‘incompetence squared’ ..

  • nigel hunter 7th Nov ’17 – 8:35pm…………This brings to mind Priti Patel with her ‘trip?’ to Israel. Not only breaking the rules but talking about giving OVERSEAS AID to weaponry. Is this the right wing Tory Brexiteers streatching their muscles for after 2019?

    It appears that May learned of Patel’s meetings with Israeli politicians on Friday – a day after the PM held a meeting with Netanyahu in Downing Street to mark the centenary of the Balfour declaration….So much for ‘We have a friend in Israel’; why would Netanyahu not mention Patel’s meetings to May?Currently the UK (May) does not agree with Israel’s presence in the Golan area; a more right wing leader/government could change all that…

    As for Johnson’s refusal to admit his error of judgement may I pen the following…I apologise to ‘Kipling’ but Boris seems to want to return us to that era…

    ‘Ee’s upset many people overseas,
    An’ some of ’em was good an’ some was not,
    The Paythan an’ the Zulu an’ Burmese;
    but now the Boris ‘act’ has really gone to pot,
    We never get a ha’porth’s sense from ’im:
    ’E mumbled words about a ‘girl reporter’
    ‘E thinks that an apology’s a sin,
    An’ ’e ‘asn’t done the ‘omework that he ‘orter.
    So ’ere ’s to you, Pfeffel Johnson an your ’opes for number 10;
    You’re a complete and utter pillock and it’s way beyond your ken…..

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