After another bruising Commons appearance, Boris Johnson has finally admitted that he was “wrong” to state that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran for anything other than a family holiday.
The foreign secretary was given another grilling by Emily Thornberry, his Labour counterpart, and numerous other opposition MPs.
Johnson started by reiterating his phrasing that was made last week, saying that he apologized if he had been “inadvertently” been the cause of “any further anguish” of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family. He confirmed that he was meeting Richard Ratcliffe, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband. However Davis got the date wrong, and he had to clarify that it was Wednesday, not tomorrow. He also said that he would be prioritising the pursuance of her release.
Thornberry and others initiated for an unqualified apology, noting that the comments of Johnson distancing himself from extra jail term have been “explicitly contradicted” by Iranian state TV, and called for a proper apology “not for upsetting people but for getting it wrong.”
After various calls for a “genuine” apology, Johnson finally conceded and said: “It was wrong of me to say she was there in a professional capacity…she was there on holiday.”