In 2013 six British men, including my constituent John Armstrong, were arrested and jailed in India on weapons charges. Their legitimate defence, that their weapons were lawfully held for the purposes of guarding against pirates, was ignored. I subsequently actively campaigned for the release of the “Chennai Six”.
I lobbied both the British and Indian Governments, flew to India to visit John and pushed for the release of John and his friends with Indian officials, politicians and with British diplomats. . I met with John’s family on multiple occasions and shared their frustration at the length of time that the Indian legal system took to release these men. I was delighted when John was acquitted in 2017 and I was so proud of his family for all their hard work in securing this result. They campaigned actively and publicly, through their website – http://www.chennai6.co.uk/ – and through the media, and John’s release was testament to their efforts.