Sunday, 2 June 2013

Open letter to William Hague

This is the contents of a letter that I have written directly to William Hague. The message is self explanatory. I will publish the content of any reply. I'm not holding my breath.
Dear William, I am writing as one local lad from Wath to another!

There are times when people like me feel that a small injustice is for the individual to sort out. Then there are times when an injustice is so bad. That that those who normally don't say or do much, feel the need to help put right the that injustice. I am writing to you today about one such issue. The injustice is one being suffered by Julie Sheppard and her family. I am sure that you are aware of the disquiet that this matter is causing. It is well within your remit to sort the problem, and could be done almost at a stroke of your pen.
Andrew, Julie's son died in France almost 3 years ago. During that time Andrews family have been trying desperately to discover what happened to him. Your department clearly knows what happened to Andrew. The delay and procrastination does nothing to ease the families feelings of injustice. France and Britain for hundreds of years have had a love hate relationship. But in times of need we have been able to put our differences aside and stand together especially in times of conflict. In recent wars  British and French citizens have stood shoulder to shoulder to fight  tyranny for the common good. I lost members of my family in both conflicts, family who had willingly sacrificed their lives in action in France.
Your department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has refused to release information about Julie's son's death. Because the FCO feels it could "damage relations between the UK and France". I am sure that the French citizens, like me, will be dismayed that the impression made by this standpoint. Reflects that the French as a nation have some terrible secret to hide. So the reluctance of the FCO to reveal the truth is "damaging relations" in the eyes of the British public.If you want, I could also speculate the reluctance to speak the truth is because the FCO have something to hide. And the French are providing an easy scapegoat. 
The FCO clearly has a duty to all UK citizens to support those who want to find out what happened to their loved ones when they die overseas. Why there is this clear reluctance to carry out the duty, without fear and favour, is baffling to me and I know it will be to many more. 
Clearly the UK authorities have breached article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The UK government by not fighting for a proper investigation on Julie's behalf as a UK citizen. Clearly the French have also breached article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The French for not properly investigating Andrew's death, on Julie's behalf as a citizen of Europe. Now Andrews family, are  having to take their concerns to a tribunal. Standing in the dock will be the FCO under your leadership. Also in the dock will be the French government. 

The Sheppard family are desperate to find out what happened to their son, and you could if you have the courage, overrule the decision and release the information to them. As one local Wath lad to another, I am asking you to fix this grievous act, and release the information to Julie's family so they can finally get the closure deserve.
So this begs the obvious question, by putting our government and the French government into the dock for breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights. Just who is actually "damaging the relations" between our two nations?
I look forward to your reply.

Just before I posted this I received the standard acknowledgement.

William Hague MPMember of Parliament for Richmond (Yorks)House of CommonsLondon SW1A 0AA

Thank you very much for your email. It is important to me to ensure that you receive a reply as soon as possible.

If your email concerns my work as Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, this will be forwarded to the appropriate desk at the FCO who will reply in due course. Please consider this response an acknowledgement of your email.

If you are applying for a visa to live, work, or travel in the UK, please direct your enquiry to the UK Border Agency. You can find their details here:

As Parliamentary rules prevent an MP dealing with enquiries from another MP’s constituency please check to ensure you are a constituent of Richmond using this website:

If you are one of my constituents, please ensure you have included your full name and address. If you have not, please resend your email with this information.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

1 comment:

  1. I see William's staff sent you standard letter 'B' :-)


Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.