HIGNFY: Victoria Coren Mitchell applauded for Richard Ratcliffe speech

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Victoria was thanked by fans for her mention of Richard’s hunger strike (Picture: Reuters/BBC/PA)

Victoria Coren Mitchell was back to chair Have I Got News For You on Friday night and was thanked by viewers for using her platform to draw attention to Richard Ratcliffe’s ongoing hunger strike.

Ratcliffe, who is now on day 20 of his protest, is aiming to draw awareness to the fact his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is still unable to return to her family after five and a half years of separation.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was convicted in an Iranian court of plotting against the Iranian regime in 2016, which she has always denied.

She has since been held in Iran and is under house arrest following a second sentence and failed appeal.

The Only Connect presenter has been visiting Richard in recent days along with friend Claudia Winkleman.

Ratcliffe began a hunger strike on October 24 outside the Foreign Office, with Victoria bringing up the lack of support from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as he continues his protest.

She showed the teams a picture of Truss on a motorbike in Thailand, before asking them: ‘What wasn’t she photographed doing?


Claudia Winkleman and Victoria Coren Mitchell as they meet and talk to Richard Ratcliffe,
Claudia Winkleman and Victoria Coren Mitchell as they meet and talk to Richard Ratcliffe (Picture: PA)

‘She wasn’t photographed when she met Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,’ Victoria began.

‘He’s on hunger strike,’ weighed in captain Ian Hislop before Victoria continued her impassioned speech.

She said of the Foreign Secretary: ‘She didn’t want there to be a picture of her telling a desperate, starving, heartbroken man that she failed yet again to do anything about the problem.


victoria coren mitchell hosts HIGNFY
The host was applauded by viewers for her comments (Picture: BBC)

‘They’re there saying we can persuade China and Russia to cut emissions, we can manage outside Europe.

‘You can’t get a housewife on a plane back to her family after six years and you can’t even get off your motorbike and explain why not,’ to which she was met with applause from the studio audience.

Those watching at home also thanked Victoria for the mention of Ratcliffe’s plight, with one writing: ‘Very well said @VictoriaCoren. Holding the Truss to account #hignfy.’

Another shared: ‘Well done @VictoriaCoren for using her #hignfy platform. #FreeNazanin.’

‘#HIGNFY well-done @VictoriaCoren for bringing up the ridiculously bad handling of #FreeNazaninRatcliffe,’ wrote another viewer.

‘Oh @VictoriaCoren you were b***dy excellent on #HIGNFY tonight! #FreeNazaninNow #FreeNazaninRatcliffe,’ weighed in a fourth, with another echoing: ‘Brava at your comment on #FreeNazaninRatcliffe. @trussliz shame on you.’

After many viewers brought the segment from the show to Victoria’s attention, she responded: ‘I agree, I was heartened but not surprised to find the whole audience on side.

‘I hope the Foreign Office understands: the country wants Nazanin brought home. Get it done.’

 

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