Foreign AffairsSpeeches

Peter Bottomley – 2022 Speech on the Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia

The speech made by Peter Bottomley, the Conservative MP for Worthing West and the Father of the House, in the House of Commons on 28 November 2022.

It would be good for the House to know whether the Crown Prince—the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia—thinks that he is personally involved or uninvolved in what is going on. It is now four years and seven weeks since Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. I think it is time that our friend—our ally—Saudi Arabia got to know that whenever a senior member of its country comes abroad, unless such executions stop, they will be associated with them.

May I also make the point that any suggestion that a confession was gained by torture makes it invalid? We know from our past that seven times a year, people convicted of a capital offence were innocent or should not have been convicted. I suspect that the same applies in Saudi Arabia.

David Rutley

The Father of the House makes important points. As he is aware, the UK has always been clear that Khashoggi’s murder was a terrible crime. We called for a thorough, credible and transparent investigation to hold those responsible to account and imposed sanctions against 20 Saudis involved. I cannot speculate about future designations or sanctions as that would reduce their impact, but he can be assured that we will speak up clearly and call out any confessions secured under torture, which are abhorrent and against all that we stand for.