Johnson comes under fire again for his honesty on the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case
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Johnson comes under fire again for his honesty on the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case

Speaking to Sky News Johnson expressed a “deep sense of anguish” for his fairly truthful account of events when under questioning by leading MPs in November 2017.    Back then Johnson indirectly, and unwittingly, admitted to the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been engaged in illegal activities in Iran. Since then he has repeatedly come under attack from both the media and the political establishment for allegedly making life harder for the British-Iranian dual national, who has been convicted on national security-related charges in Iran and is currently serving her five year sentence.   The focus on Johnson’s rare moment of honesty has intensified since he declared his intention to contest the Conservative party’s leadership race. Johnson sailed through the first round of the contest by consistently securing the support of the majority of the Conservative parliamentary party. He is now the firm favourite to win the final round of the contest where he faces foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt. The prospect of a Johnson premiership has galvanised the Tory party establishment behind Hunt, who is viewed as a much more reliable prospect. Leading the charge against Johnson, former Tory party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin, who heads Jeremy Hunt's campaign, said Johnson’s “original” language on Zaghari-Ratcliffe "has not helped the case". Gaffe-prone and spontaneous, Johnson is viewed as a liability by the British political establishment. The Zaghari-Ratcliffe case is viewed as Johnson’s greatest weakness, not least because the British media has consistently misrepresented her as an “innocent mother” who is being held “hostage” by Iran. The latest attacks on Johnson come in the wake of Richard Ratcliffe’s latest failed stunt outside the Iranian embassy in London. According to a well-informed source Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband had met Jeremy Hunt before embarking on his hunger strike outside the embassy. In an admission of failure to unduly apply pressure on the Iranian justice system, Ratcliffe discontinued his hunger strike yesterday.     

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