Saudi account of Jamal Khashoggi killing ‘not credible’, says Jeremy Hunt

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 23 October 2018 in News

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain was prepared to take action against Saudi Arabia

Jeremy Hunt - Image credit: Press Association

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has branded the Saudi government’s explanation for Jamal Khashoggi's death as not “credible”, as he warned Britain was prepared to step up action against the regime.

Jeremy Hunt said Britain was prepared to take action against Saudi Arabia

The Foreign Secretary said the UK will act accordingly if the “appalling stories” being reported are proven to be true, after acknowledging Britain’s close security and business ties with the Gulf Kingdom.

Turkish government sources have said the journalist was tortured and murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a "hit squad", however Saudi Arabia’s official claim is that Mr Khashoggi died in a fist fight.

Addressing the Commons, Hunt said the UK condemned the death "in the strongest possible terms".

 “We have an important strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia involving defence and security co-operation which has saved lives on the streets of Britain,” he told MPs.

“We also have a trading partnership that supports thousands of jobs.

“So whilst we will be thoughtful and considered in our response, I have also been clear that if the appalling stories we are reading turn out to be true, they are fundamentally incompatible with our values and we will act accordingly.”

Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, said ministers "must wake up to the reality of who the Crown Prince really is".

She called on the Foreign Secretary to "accept that UK arms sales for the use in Yemen must be suspended pending a comprehensive UN-led investigation into all alleged war crimes".

In response, Hunt said: "We keep the situation constantly under review, including any implications that arise from the Khashoggi investigation."

Speaking before Hunt in the Commons, Theresa May condemned the killing "in the strongest possible terms" and added "we must get to the truth of what happened".

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