Debates between Baroness Blackstone and Baroness Sugg during the 2019 Parliament

Jonathan Taylor: SBM Offshore

Debate between Baroness Blackstone and Baroness Sugg
Tuesday 10th November 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg (Con) [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I would push back on the assertation that the Government are doing nothing. As I said, we are providing regular support to Mr Taylor: we are in regular contact with him, his family and his legal team. Mr Taylor has appealed against his extradition. We have also approached the Monégasque prosecutor’s office to request more information about the charges against Jonathan Taylor. We will continue to closely monitor this case and take appropriate action.

Baroness Blackstone Portrait Baroness Blackstone (Ind Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, the Government claim that they cannot interfere in the legal proceedings of another country, which is surprising, since there are recent examples where they have done so—so why in those cases and not this one? Moreover, it is surprising that the Government have not made high-level diplomatic representations to halt the extradition process, given that Mr Taylor has worked with the SFO and other prosecutors around the world, exposing a corruption and bribery scandal at a Monaco-based company, leading to fines amounting to over $800 million. He is continuing to work with the SFO in corruption investigations. Can the Minister tell the House why the Government are refusing to take action to restore Mr Taylor’s human rights, so he can come home, and are thereby failing to support the work of whistleblowers in the global fight against corruption?

Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg (Con) [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

[Inaudible]—we will continue to support whistleblowers. On this specific case, we need to consider each case on an individual basis and, as set out in the Vienna convention on consular relations, we cannot interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, just as we would not expect similar interference here. However, we will continue to monitor this case closely. The Minister for the European Neighbourhood recently met the co-chairs of the APPG on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax. We will continue to stay in contact with Mr Taylor and his legal team, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help in this case.

Aid Impact

Debate between Baroness Blackstone and Baroness Sugg
Thursday 3rd September 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, we are committed to more effective and accountable aid spending under the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and of course that includes transparency and external scrutiny. We will reinforce that external scrutiny by not just maintaining ICAI but strengthening its focus on the impact of our aid and the value that it adds to our policy agenda.

Baroness Blackstone Portrait Baroness Blackstone (Ind Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, does the Minister accept that it is very disappointing that the Independent Commission for Aid Impact rated the UK’s progress on international climate finance as inadequate? How do the Government intend to rectify this, given the urgency of much more progress before the UK hosts COP 26 next year?

Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, we are committed to increasing and improving our work on climate. We are doubling our funding to the International Climate Fund and, as the noble Baroness says, we are hosting COP. We are also absolutely committed to making sure that that funding is spent effectively.