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Deaths of Three British Citizens (Baghdad)

Volume 530: debated on Wednesday 22 June 2011

I would like to update the House in the case of the five British hostages who were kidnapped from the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad in May 2007. The House will recall that one of the hostages, Peter Moore, was released alive in December 2009.

The bodies of Jason Creswell and Jason Swindlehurst were returned in June 2009 and that of Alec Maclachlan in September 2009. More tragically, the last remaining hostage, Alan McMenemy, whom we believe to be dead, has yet to be returned, though we continue our efforts to bring him home.

The House will note that HM coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, who is responsible for determining the cause of death, has now completed his inquest into the deaths of Mr Creswell, Mr Swindlehurst and Mr Maclachlan. HM coroner has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. The evidence placed before the inquest shows quite clearly that these men were deliberately and brutally murdered by their captors.

I am aware that for the family of Alan McMenemy their suffering goes on. Let me reassure Alan’s family, and the House, that we will continue our efforts to bring Alan home.

We understand that the Iraqis are investigating the circumstances of the kidnapping, which we hope will lead to justice for these men. I call upon those holding Alan to show compassion to his wife and children and to return him immediately.

I am sure the House joins me in extending our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these men, and our hope that Alan McMenemy will be returned soon.