After Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claimed a British-Iranian woman currently imprisoned in Iran was “training journalists”, when she was actually visiting family, he set back the campaign to free her – and may have landed her with more years in jail.
He also earned himself a cross-party bollocking.
.@EmilyThornberry and @Anna_Soubry challenge @BorisJohnson after his comments about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment in Iran. pic.twitter.com/Bn1qhAqoaq
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 7, 2017
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry demanded: “How many more times does the Foreign Secretary have to insult our international partners, damage our diplomatic relations and now imperil the interests of British nationals abroad? What will it take before the PM says enough is enough?
“If the truth is that she can’t because she doesn’t have the strength or authority to sack him, how about the Foreign Secretary himself shows a bit of personal responsibility and admits that a job like this where your words hold gravity and your actions have consequences it is simply not the job for him?”
Johnson tried to hit back by claiming Thornberry was deflecting criticism from the Iranian regime, but his fellow Conservative MP Anna Soubry was having none of it.
“Could he now give us an undertaking that in future he will concentrate on the very important matters that he has in his brief as Foreign Secretary?” she asked.
In a dig at Johnson’s Brexit posturing, she continued: “To that end could he give an undertaking to support the Prime Minister in her efforts in relation to the Florence speech, for example, and make sure that his own ambitions are put secondary to the wellbeing of all my constituents and indeed everybody else in this country? Because that’s his job.”