The Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, responded to an urgent question asked by Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton on human rights in China following reports that human rights lawyer Zhang Kai imminently faces a severe prison sentence or the death penalty for defending civil liberties.
Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Catherine West, responded to the statement on behalf of the Opposition.
About Urgent Questions
At times MPs may want to put an urgent question to a Minister. If a matter of public importance has arisen, which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to the Speaker to put forward such a question.
The relevant government department would be informed at once. If the Speaker agrees, the question will be asked after that day’s Question Time.
Once the MP has asked the main question, they are allowed to ask a supplementary question. Other MPs will then be called to ask further questions on the same subject.
Watching proceedings from the public gallery
UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.
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