Politics

Johnson ‘put jailed Briton’s life in danger’

The British woman jailed in Iran says Boris Johnson may have put her life in danger, according to her MP.

Tulip Siddiq told Sky News that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "inconsolable", "sobbing down the phone" to her husband and "couldn't believe (Mr Johnson) could make comments that would endanger her life".

It comes as remarks on Sunday by another Cabinet minister, Michael Gove, raised fresh concerns over the Briton's fate.

Video:Jailed Briton 'inconsolable' over Johnson remark

Pressure on Mr Johnson has been building after he told a parliamentary committee last week that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "simply teaching people journalism" in Iran.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she and her young daughter were just on a family visit when she was arrested in Tehran in 2016.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard claims the 38-year-old was plotting to overthrow the regime, and the Briton has been denied access to consular assistance.

Authorities in Iran seized upon Mr Johnson's comment and he was forced to call Iran's foreign minister to ensure his remarks was "not misrepresented".

The Foreign Secretary also called Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband on Sunday and is said to have had a "constructive" conversation.

About 20 minutes later, Environment Secretary Michael Gove was asked in a BBC interview what the Briton was doing in Iran and replied: "I don't know".

Mr Gove was then told her husband's explanation for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's visit.

Richard Ratcliffe (L) and his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Image:Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband Richard

"In that case I take exactly her husband's assurance in that regard," he told the Andrew Marr Show.

"Her husband said she was there on holiday, and her husband is the person who should know."

Defending his Cabinet colleague who is facing calls to resign, Mr Gove also criticised those trying to "blame politicians in a democracy who are trying to do the right thing".

Labour's Chris Bryant said the comments were proof of an "incompetent" Government.

He told Sky News: "Boris got into trouble because he hadn't bothered to check details before he went to the Foreign Affairs select committee.

"Michael Gove must have known he would be asked that question and yet answered in that way. It's a Government of incompetence".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also launched a furious attack on Mr Johnson, calling on him to quit for "putting our citizens at risk".

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