US Order Killing of Senior Iranian Military Leader

The United States has admitted that it launched a military attack which killed Qasem Soleimani, a senior Iranian general. The attack made at Baghdad airport was authorised by Donald Trump, the President of the United States, in response to an attack on a US embassy.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, warned of “severe revenge” in response to the attacks. Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, urged restraint and said in a statement:

“We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani. Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests.”

Foreign Secretary Meets Family of Harry Dunn

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, has met with the family of Harry Dunn, the teenager who was killed in a car accident. The driver of the car in the accident was Anne Sacoolas, who then returned to the United States and claimed diplomatic immunity. Raab encouraged Sacoolas to “do the right thing” and return to the UK.

Raab said in a statement:

“Earlier today, I had a constructive meeting with Harry Dunn’s family. I appreciate how painful this is for them, and welcomed the chance to address a number of their concerns.

We are united in our determination to get justice for Harry. The Government will do everything it can. I also reaffirmed my commitment to conclude the review of the arrangements at RAF Croughton by the end of the year to ensure they cannot be used in this way again.

I appeal to Anne Sacoolas herself to do the right thing. If there is a charging decision from the Crown Prosecution Service, I urge her to come back to the United Kingdom and cooperate with the criminal justice process.

Finally, I want to pay tribute to the tenacity of Harry’s family and friends and their determination to get justice for Harry. We will support them in any way we can.”

Foreign Secretary Issues Statement on Situation in Hong Kong

Dominic Raab

Media reports have suggested that a member of the Hong Kong police has shot a protester using live ammunition. The news has over-shadowed the celebrations and events across China to mark the seventieth anniversary of communist rule in the country.

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said in a statement:

“Whilst there is no excuse for violence, the use of live ammunition is disproportionate, and only risks inflaming the situation. This incident underlines the need for a constructive dialogue to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong. We need to see restraint and a de-escalation from both protesters and the Hong Kong authorities.”

Dominic Raab Seeks to Promote UK as “Good Global Citizen”

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, is seeking to promote the UK as a “good global citizen” when he attends this week’s UN General Assembly in New York. He said that the UK must do more than just promote free trade, but must lead by example on matters of global importance.

Raab said in a statement:

“As we leave the EU, the UK will walk tall in the world and step up our commitment to being a good global citizen. Our message to the United Nations is that we will lead by example and work tirelessly to strengthen the rules-based international system – to tackle climate change, protect journalists from attack, and uphold freedom of navigation on the high seas.”

Foreign Secretary Speaks to Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, has spoken by phone to Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. They discussed the current political protests in Hong Kong and the future of the former British colony.

A spokesperson for Raab said:

“The Foreign Secretary has called Carrie Lam to discuss his concerns about the situation in Hong Kong, and the protests there. The Foreign Secretary underlined the strength of the relationship between the UK and Hong Kong, noting our support for Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy as provided for in the Joint Declaration and our commitment to the principle of ‘One country, Two systems’.

The Foreign Secretary condemned violent acts by all sides but emphasised the right to peaceful protest, noting that hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people had chosen this route to express their views. He underlined that the violence should not cloud the lawful actions of the majority.

The Foreign Secretary emphasised the need to find a way forward through meaningful political dialogue, and a fully independent investigation into recent events as a way to build trust.”

Dominic Raab Eliminated in Tory Leadership Contest

Dominic Raab has been knocked out following the second round of voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest. Boris Johnson secured the most votes, but Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Rory Stewart and Sajid Javid have all made it through to the next round.

Boris Johnson – 126 votes

Jeremy Hunt – 46 votes

Michael Gove – 41 votes

Rory Stewart – 37 votes

Sajid Javid – 33 votes

Dominic Raab – 30 votes

Dominic Raab Says he Would Shut Parliament if it Opposed Brexit

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab, one of the candidates for the Conservative leadership, has said that he would shut down Parliament if it opposed his Brexit plans. The move was fiercely criticised by John Bercow, the current Speaker of the House of Commons, and Betty Boothroyd, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, as well as other senior Conservatives.

John Bercow, the current Speaker, rejected any move to prevent the House of Commons from stating its will on any Brexit deal saying:

“Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process.”

Boothroyd said:

“I have a message for this ambitious young man: you don’t treat our Parliament, our democracy or our people that way. If you even try to impose your No Deal Brexit on us by cancelling Parliamentary proceedings, you won’t survive as Prime Minister for five minutes, you will be booted out of office and you are not worthy of your seat in Parliament which should be reserved for those who deserve the title of democrats.”

Other candidates criticised Raab’s plan, with Matt Hancock saying that it would “undermine parliamentary democracy and risk a general election” and Rory Stewart posted on Twitter:

“We live in a parliamentary democracy. You can try to lock the gates of parliament. But to do so for this purpose would be unlawful. This plan is unlawful, undemocratic, and unachievable. And the idea itself is profoundly offensive to our liberty constitution and traditions.”

Raab’s threat was also criticised by Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who said that “I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament. We are not Stuart kings.”

Mel Stride, the Leader of the House of Commons, also rejected Raab’s suggestion, saying that “I do think Her Majesty should be kept out of the politics of our Parliament.”