Boris Johnson Savaged By Emily Thornberry And Yvette Cooper Over His Iran Blunder

Boris Johnson has been savaged by Labour’s Emily Thornberry and Yvette Cooper for a diplomatic blunder that risks extending a jail term for a British woman arrested in Iran. Amid shouts of “resign!”, the Foreign Secretary also came under heavy attack from Tory MPs such as Anna Soubry after he refused to apologise properly for his remarks about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Johnson admitted “I could have been clearer” when he claimed last week that Zaghhari-Ratcliffe had been training journalists in Iran, a line which was seized on by the Tehran authorities as proof that she was ‘spreading propaganda’ against the regime. But he sparked anger after he refused repeated requests to say sorry for his comments. Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry laid into Johnson, declaring Theresa May didn’t have the “strength or authority” to sack him, but he should do the decent thing and resign. Thornberry said that Johnson should realise that as Foreign Secretary “his words have gravity and his actions have consequences...and it is simply not the job for him”. Johnson said that Zaghhari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard had sent him a note welcoming his clarification. The Foreign Secretary said that he also intended to take a trip to Iran personally to try to secure her release. Eventually, after his 40-minute grilling, Johnson expressed his regrets for his words, although only with a caveat that they had been misinterpreted. “Of course I’m sorry, if any of my words have been taken out of context...” he told Lib Dem MP Layla Moran.