At Business Questions on 17th October, I asked the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons for an update on what the Government is doing to secure the release of the crew of the Arctic Sunrise currently being held by the Russian authorities.
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): I am grateful to you, Mr Speaker, for granting the debate next Wednesday on the fate of the Arctic Sunrise crew, who are still being held captive in Murmansk. It is nearly a month since the Russian authorities hijacked the boat and unlawfully detained and arrested the crew, including six Britons, three of whom are from Devon. They have now been charged with the ludicrous charge of piracy. May we have an urgent statement from a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister on what the British Government are doing to secure their release?
Tom Brake: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his question, which raises a significant issue. Indeed, the Prime Minister responded to it yesterday in Prime Minister’s questions, because one of his constituents is also affected. The British Government have rightly made representations, and I want to see those people released as soon as possible.