Debates between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon during the 2019 Parliament

Ministers: Overseas Travel

Debate between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Tuesday 1st February 2022

(2 years, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, I have listened very carefully and let us be quite clear: this is not an FCDO plane. It is leased, as my noble friend pointed out, through the Cabinet Office and it is open to all Ministers at senior levels to make a considered decision for their department. On the important point the noble Lord makes, every flight contributes to the UK’s emissions trading scheme, and we pay a voluntary carbon offset credit for each flight taken.

Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, does my noble friend agree that not only do these planes uphold the dignity of the state, but they are no more than workplaces for Ministers and their staff to discuss and manage things diplomatically and securely on long journeys?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, my noble friend speaks with great insight about the serious decisions taken at the heart of government. Just for noble Lords’ interest, the Royal Air Force—as I said, this is government-wide, including planes provided for the Royal Family—has one A330, one commercially operated A321 and one BAE146. The United States has two VC-25s, eight C-32As and two C-40 Clippers. France—the list goes on. In the United Kingdom, the decisions taken on travel for every Minister of course take value for money into account. However, the Foreign Office, the Department for International Trade and a number of other departments undertake vital work internationally, and sometimes, as I have already said, when the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary travel, they not only travel with security but conduct business on those planes. This would not be possible on any commercial flight.

Afghanistan: Food Shortages

Debate between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Tuesday 9th November 2021

(2 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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I totally agree with the noble Lord, and that is exactly what we are focused on.

Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, it is quite clear that one of the reasons for starvation in the country is that so many women and girls are now no longer able to work and are being deprived of that. One of the conditions that must be imposed on the Afghan Government is that those women and girls can go back to proper employment and not be barred, as they are today.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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Again, I agree with my noble friend, who speaks with great insight on this issue. Let me assure him that we are focused on dealing directly with women leaders in identifying which provinces we have seen real progress in. Indeed, in certain provinces we have seen girls returning to higher education and to work and employment. We are focused on ensuring that the objectives that he just highlighted are part of our discussions.

Iran: British-Iranian Prisoners

Debate between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Monday 7th June 2021

(3 years ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, I can assure the noble Lord that we will continue to work very constructively with our key partners to ensure that the obligations Iran has under the JCPOA are fully met and upheld. On future sanctions, the noble Lord will of course be aware that I will not speculate on what we may or may not do in the future.

Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, the plight of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and others held by the Iranian authorities is truly terrible. We can only imagine how ghastly it must be serving time in one of their prisons or under house arrest; as has already been said, it is a very repressive regime. Can the Minister therefore confirm that, as the negotiations proceed in Geneva on the JCPOA, they will deal with the nuclear issue and also the export of terrorism and the seizing of hostages—both of which were omitted under the original JCPOA arrangements?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My noble friend is right to highlight the limitations of the JCPOA—specifically on arms, for example, ballistic missiles are not included. As I said earlier, we continue to work with partners in asking Iran to uphold its obligations. I assure my noble friend that we are working at the highest level, including through the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, to ensure the early release of all dual nationals under detention and their return to the UK.