New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: Following directly the point that was just made by the SNP spokesman [Stewart Malcolm McDonald], is there any evidence that the Chinese intelligence services, adopting classic communist methodology, are trying to discredit the protesters by infiltrating them with agents provocateurs, where the violent fringe is concerned? Will my right hon. Friend give special consideration to about 265 former members of the Hong Kong armed services, who should in the past have been offered the choice of a British passport but, I believe, have yet to receive that offer?

[The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State (Dominic Raab): I thank my right hon. Friend for his remarks; I know that he follows these issues closely. I am going to be a bit careful about commenting on what is really happening in relation to intelligence services from any other country, but one thing I would say is ​that it is becoming increasingly clear, in relation to some of the counter-protests, that there are criminal gangs involved, and it is not clear entirely what their links may or may not be with the various administrations. I think, for our part, we need to play this in a very straight way, which is to say that there are some legally binding obligations on the Hong Kong Government, and indeed on China, to respect peaceful protest. Frankly, wherever those incursions or erosions or impingements come, we will call them out.]