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Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were both members of the Vote Leave campaign. It seems they now want to “take control” personally – but their sheer arrogant incompetence on the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe question means they should be expelled from the government [Image: Reuters].

It would be easy to say that the lumps in Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s breasts are nothing to do with Boris Johnson, and that he cannot be endangering her health by saying the wrong thing about her.

But that would be too simplistic an explanation – and those of us who have had dealings with the DWP know that they don’t accept single reasons for terminal, or potentially terminal, events.

It seems a specialist who examined her believes the lumps in her breasts are benign but should be monitored because Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has a family history of breast cancer and the stress she is under could be a contributory factor.

That’s stress that Boris Johnson has increased exponentially with his ignorant and harmful remarks.

It is stress that Michael Gove may have worsened by siding with Mr Johnson, even though he must have known that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was on holiday when she was arrested by the Iranian authorities, and that the claim that she was plotting to overthrow the regime is nonsense. The fact that he didn’t come out and say that straight away could be hugely damaging in the hands of the Iranian authorities.

Here’s the statement about Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s health, by her husband Richard:

For those who can’t read images [boldings mine]:

“New lumps had been identified in each of her breasts. Nazanin has been complaining of sharp stabbing pains in her breasts for some months – her breasts have been painful since month five of her detention. She had previously been given an inconclusive mammographpy by the in-prison gynaecologist.

“Nazanin had insisted on seeing an outside specialist for a second opinion. Since May Nazanin reports that she has only rarely been refused outside medical treatment, though sometimes approval can take a number of months.

“The specialist consultant on Saturday said he felt them to be likely benign, except for the fact that she had been complaining of sharp pains for over a year. He also told Nazanin that given her family history of breast cancer, and the fact that many cancers are related to stress, and given the level of anxiety Nazanin has been exposed to over an extended period, her situation should be kept under close surveillance.

“Nazanin was prescribed a week’s worth of medication Naproxen and Vitamin E, tablets to be taken every 12 hours. (Since it was a sudden referral her father was not present to pay. To avoid delay, the doctor waived the charge for the medication and ultrasound.)

“The specialist suggested Nazanin should be seen by him again after a week. She was given an appointment next Saturday to see how the lumps have responded to the medication, and whether there might be a need to operate.”

The Ratcliffes’ MP, Tulip Siddiq, told Sky News Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “inconsolable”, “sobbing down the phone” to her husband and “couldn’t believe (Mr Johnson) could make comments that would endanger her life”.

The response on the social media has been nothing but damning.

Apologies for the strong language in the following tweet. It is easy to sympathise with the emotion behind these words:

This Site reported earlier that Jeremy Corbyn has demanded Mr Johnson’s resignation. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has joined the Labour leader in this demand, saying Mr Johnson had not performed his “first duty” in the role, which is diplomacy.

I say: Michael Gove should lose his job as well. He chose to support Boris Johnson and undermine Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, in the face of the evidence. He chose to share Mr Johnson’s fate.

We know that Gove and Johnson have been trying to push Theresa May into following their demands on Brexit. It seems clear that is why Gove supported Johnson’s lie. If Theresa May doesn’t take action against this attempt to usurp what little remains of her authority, then her authority is gone altogether.

And we should give Mrs May a deadline to get them out.


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