Kettering MP quizzes minister on terrorist treason charges

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone
Kettering MP Philip Hollobone

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone has asked whether British citizens fighting for jihadist organisations in the Middle East can be prosecuted for treason against the UK.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday, September 9), Mr Hollobone, addressing Justice Minister Simon Hughes, said: “ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other groups are sworn enemies of our country and hate everything we stand for, and British citizens who go abroad to take part in jihad—or holy war—are giving aid and comfort to the Queen’s enemies.

“The British public want to see some exemplary prosecutions for treason so that the seriousness of this international terrorist activity can be fully and properly recognised.”

In his response, Mr Hughes would not commit to prosecuting British citizens for treason.

He said: “Those who participate in foreign conflicts may be prosecuted for offences such as terrorism under the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006, murder or conspiracy to commit murder, and offences under the International Criminal Court Act 2001 for breaches of international humanitarian law.

“It is of course the case that treason remains on the statute book, although the last prosecution was in 1945.”

He later added: “We have already announced that there will be new powers to take passports from people temporarily while investigations are made to prevent them from travelling to places such as Syria and Iraq.”