Richard Benyon debates with Foreign and Commonwealth Office

There have been 4 exchanges between Richard Benyon and Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tue 5th November 2019 Intelligence and Security Committee Report on Russia 3 interactions (154 words)
Tue 30th October 2018 Oral Answers to Questions 3 interactions (40 words)
Tue 15th May 2018 Oral Answers to Questions 3 interactions (65 words)
Tue 6th March 2018 Government Policy on Russia 3 interactions (108 words)

Intelligence and Security Committee Report on Russia

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Tuesday 5th November 2019

(9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Christopher Pincher Portrait Christopher Pincher - Parliament Live - Hansard
5 Nov 2019, 1 p.m.

I am not going to comment on individual public servants. All I would say is that in asking the question that he asks, the right hon. Gentleman appears to be less a Member of Parliament than a walk-on member of a show like “24”.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
5 Nov 2019, 1:01 p.m.

In my time on the Intelligence and Security Committee, I have built up a healthy respect for the way in which we conduct parliamentary scrutiny of our secret intelligence agencies. Indeed, other Parliaments from around the world come to see how we do it. There is much in the report that I would love to be able to talk about here, and I would love to address some of the more eccentric conspiracy theories that we have heard peddled here, but it comes down to this. We have a highly respected system of parliamentary oversight which is trusted across the House. Does my right hon. Friend not feel that in the absence of this report’s publication, we have created a climate which has allowed some quite bizarre conspiracy theories to be peddled, and that it would be much better to publish what has been written in the way in which the Committee produced it?

Christopher Pincher Portrait Christopher Pincher - Parliament Live - Hansard
5 Nov 2019, 1:02 p.m.

Let me also bid farewell to my right hon. Friend, who has been a fine Member of Parliament for Newbury over the last 18 years. We will miss him: we will miss his intelligence, his care and his consideration. He wonders whether, by acting in a different way, we would reduce the propensity towards conspiracy theories. I suspect that the answer is no. I think that those conspiracy theories would find their way into the light in any event, thanks to some Opposition Members.

All I can do is to repeat what I have already said to my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr Baker). This report requires careful consideration. It requires the Prime Minister to do his duty by the Justice and Security Act, and that is what he will do.

Oral Answers to Questions

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Tuesday 30th October 2018

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt - Parliament Live - Hansard
30 Oct 2018, 12:09 p.m.

I am happy to do that for the right hon. Gentleman. NATO Foreign Ministers recognise collectively that we are starting to see international norms being breached in an extremely dangerous way. One of those breaches is on chemical weapons; we should never forget that the Salisbury attack was the first use of chemical weapons on British soil, and it is extremely serious from that point of view. The other is on cyber, with the general undermining of confidence in democracy when people think that hostile state actors might be trying to interfere in our elections. We need to stop both those things.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
30 Oct 2018, 12:10 p.m.

Will my right hon. Friend have a word with his successor as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ask why the NHS—Pharmacy2U, to be precise—is advertising on RT and so is lining the pockets of Putin’s mouthpiece?

Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt - Hansard
30 Oct 2018, 12:10 p.m.

I am very happy to have a word with my excellent successor, but of course this affects us in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well. With the unexplained wealth orders and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, we are starting to tighten the net on people from unfriendly regimes who are financing activities that are against our values.

Oral Answers to Questions

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Tuesday 15th May 2018

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Boris Johnson - Hansard

I can sum up our policy, which I repeat to the House: engage but beware. We will continue, where necessary and possible, to engage with Russia diplomatically and culturally across the field. But relations are currently, of course, difficult.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard

In firmly supporting the Government’s robust response to the malign actions of the Putin regime, may I remind my right hon. Friend that in the cold war we had the best civil servants and an enormous infrastructure based on preparation for strategic arms limitation talks? That kind of engagement is as vital today, and I hope that the Government are putting equal resources into it.

Boris Johnson - Parliament Live - Hansard

My right hon. Friend raises an extremely good point. As I think he is indicating, we are increasingly concerned about a Russian breach of the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty. There will have to be much more international engagement to keep that treaty intact.

Government Policy on Russia

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Tuesday 6th March 2018

(2 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Boris Johnson - Parliament Live - Hansard
6 Mar 2018, 1:07 p.m.

I have a couple of points to make on that. No attempt is being made to resist any investigation. On the contrary, as I have told the House repeatedly, this Government have mounted the strongest possible resistance across the world to Russian aggression and interference. I think hon. Members will readily concede that plenty of other Governments trade freely with Russia, oppose sanctions and are massively dependent on Russian hydrocarbons, and it is up to the UK to stand up for decency and to resist what Russia is doing.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
6 Mar 2018, 1:08 p.m.

As someone who has campaigned for some time on the so-called “Magnitsky campaign”, may I say that the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill offers an opportunity for us to have the full Magnitsky, as opposed to Magnitsky-lite which we got last year in another piece of legislation? The Opposition’s amendments were well intended but can be improved on. May I tell my right hon. Friend that on Report there will be an opportunity for the whole House to come together to give a clear message? I urge him, with all the measures I can, to listen to all sides, because this issue concerns people right across this House.

Boris Johnson - Hansard
6 Mar 2018, 1:08 p.m.

My right hon. Friend is right to say that this issue greatly exercises Members on both sides of the House. As I have said repeatedly, we will certainly address the issue and we will try to find a way forward that addresses Members’ concerns.