Jeremy Corbyn has said 'it's time for Boris Johnson to go' after 'embarrassing and undermining our country'
A British government minister has sparked fresh concerns over the fate of a British woman jailed in Iran.
Asked what charity administrator Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing when she was arrested in Tehran in 2016, Theresa May's environment minister Michael Gove answered: "I don't know."
It follows foreign secretary Boris Johnson's widely criticised claim that the 38-year-old mother was "training journalists" - which could add five years to her current sentence.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family and employer say she was on holiday visiting family when she was arrested with her daughter at an airport in Tehran.
After Mr Gove's remark on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Gove was told her husband's explanation.
"In that case I take exactly her husband's assurance in that regard," he said.
"Her husband said she was there on holiday, and her husband is the person who should know."
The minister was, however, swiftly criticised for the 'I don't know' remark:
How do Boris Johnson and now Michael Gove get away with throwing a British citizen under the bus like that? How little shame do they have? https://t.co/EIKoL4jZZP— Owen Jones?? (@OwenJones84) November 12, 2017
Gove asked what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran says “I don’t know”. Another unhelpful response when we do know - her husband says she was visiting family.— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) November 12, 2017
In his interview, Mr Gove also branded the Iranians "extremists" and accused them of "harming the human rights of someone whose plight moves us all".
Defending Boris Johnson - 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".
"We play their game if we do anything other show than solidarity in the face of their abuse of human rights," he said.
Earlier, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has launched a furious attack on Mr Johnson, calling on him to quit for "putting our citizens at risk".
He said the "embarrassing" behaviour over Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case, coupled with the Foreign Secretary's "colonial throwback" attitude meant he should resign.
Writing in The Observer newspaper, Mr Corbyn argued: "The foreign secretary should have the decency to say clearly and unequivocally that he was wrong and do everything possible to make sure she isn’t punished for his cavalier mistake.
"We’ve put up with him embarrassing and undermining our country through his incompetence and putting our citizens at risk for long enough. It’s time for Boris Johnson to go."