Michael Gove: I don't know what jailed Briton was doing in Iran


His call adds to the growing pressure on the Prime Minister to sack Mr Johnson following his remarks about Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Asked what charity administrator Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing when she was arrested in Tehran in 2016, Mr Gove said: "I don't know".

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was visiting her family when she was arrested in Tehran and jailed for five years after being accused of spying against the Government.

Mr Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of "undermining our country" and putting United Kingdom citizens at risk after he said that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been in an Iranian jail for the past 18 months, was "training journalists" there.

On Sunday morning, Gove repeatedly backed Johnson's handling of the case, calling him "a great foreign secretary".

Told by Marr that Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard, said she had been there on holiday, Gove said: "I take exactly her husband's assurances in that regard".

Channel 4 News has learnt that the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will meet with the family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British woman imprisoned in Iran. And also for him to be going to Iran as soon as possible to try to bring her home.

While reacting to the arrest of the British citizen, the UK Foreign Secretary is criticized for making an "epic blunder": when addressing a parliamentary committee on November 1, Boris Johnson claimed that he believed she had been "simply teaching people journalism", something her employer and family insist is totally false and incorrect.

Mr Johnson has admitted that his previous comments suggesting she was training journalists "could have been clearer", and the UK Government "has no doubt that she was on holiday" in Iran.

Defending his Cabinet colleague who is facing calls to resign, he also criticised those trying to "blame politicians in a democracy who are trying to do the right thing".

'It appears Gove is more interested in protecting Johnson's job than the liberty of a British citizen in jail in Iran.

Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have both called for Mr Johnson to be sacked over comments.

Mr Johnson and Mr Ratcliffe are due to speak on the telephone tomorrow, and the Foreign Office is understood to be considering the request for a meeting next week.