HC Deb 16 April 1999 vol 329 c383W
Jane Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the US Government concerning the abolition of the death penalty; and if he will make a statement. [80024]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

Foreign Office Ministers and officials discuss frequently the abolition of the death penalty with their US counterparts. Baroness Symons most recently raised HMG's opposition to the use of the death penalty in the United States with Harold Koh, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, US State Department, during her visit to Washington in late March.

Her Majesty's Government are opposed to the use of the death penalty in the United States and will continue to use their very close relationship with the US Government to take up death penalty cases whenever appropriate. As EU Presidency in 1998, the UK was instrumental in establishing a set of EU guidelines on death penalty cases, which now form the basis of all EU demarches to the US authorities. To date, the UK has been involved in eight EU demarches. The Foreign Secretary's Death Penalty Panel has also targeted the United States for action, and we are constantly reviewing the best way to tackle the US authorities over the death penalty.