Foreign Office need to do more to help get Cardiff man home

Business of the House
25th March 2021

Kevin Brennan Labour, Cardiff West

When we come back after Easter, can we have a statement on Yemen? I know the Leader of the House will understand how it must feel for the family of Luke Symons when they hear about incidents of detention centres being attacked in Sanaa and when they hear about the cut in aid to Yemen and the continuing supply of arms to Saudi Arabia, but most of all their and my concern is for the welfare of my constituent held captive in Sanaa by the Houthis.

If we cannot have that statement, will the Leader of the House encourage the Foreign Office at least to be a bit more active in providing me with briefings and updates on what is going on in relation to this matter? I have asked for one and not received one. He is always assiduous, so through his good offices, will he give them a nudge and seek to provide me with an updated report?

Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
I can absolutely give the second commitment that the hon. Gentleman asks for. The Government are working closely with our partners in the region to ensure that Mr Symons is released and reunited with his family as soon as possible. We obviously do not have direct representation there. It may be helpful if I tell hon. and right hon. Members that after this session every week, I write to relevant Ministers with any issues that have been brought up, and obviously I particularly emphasise ones of this kind, because I think hon. and right hon. Members have a right to be kept informed about their constituents and to make representations for them. It is our basic obligation as Members to seek redress of grievance for those we represent, and I will always do anything I can to help in that regard.