Novichok attack debate could risk ‘trial in Parliament’, warns MP

Novichok attack debate could risk ‘trial in Parliament’, warns MP

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The House of Commons should get rid of plans to debate the Salisbury Novichok attack now two men have been identified as suspects, a Labour MP warned.

Chris Bryant, a Labour MP and chair of the all party parliamentary group on Russia, said a debate would risk a “trial in Parliament” rather than the courts.

Mr Bryant said that it was not up to the Commons to decide on the guilt of the suspects police have linked to the Salisbury attack.

He asked the Leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom to stop plans for a debate.

He said: "One of the things that makes this country different from Russia is that we don't put people on trial in parliament.

"Don't break that fundamental rule - that we don't put people on trial in this chamber."

 

‘There will not be any risk of that happening’

Mrs Leadsom responded: "I can only reassure him that there will not be any risk of that happening during the general debate next week about the Salisbury incident."

Mr Bryant later added: "Anything in a debate in this House that could suggest the people of Britain have made up their minds as to the guilt of an individual person would be wholly detrimental.

"It would probably mean other authorities in other countries would say there is no chance of a fair trial and would therefore refuse to extradite."

If the debate went ahead, he stressed MPs must not "refer to their belief one way or the other as to the guilt or innocence of particular individuals".

The debate is scheduled for Wednesday September 12.

Comments