Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was sentenced to five years after being convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment. She denies the charges.
The coordinated defence is part of attempts to shore up Theresa May’s government, which has been weakened by a series of scandals and gaffes involving her top team of ministers as she negotiates the Brexit.
May has been struggling to maintain her authority over her party since a snap election on June 8 which she called thinking she would win by a wide margin but instead resulted in her losing her parliamentary majority.
The government said it was proposing a change to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill currently making its way through parliament to set the exit for 11 pm GMT on March 29, 2019.
The government is giving off the whiff of terminal decline. But it’s not yet in free fall.
May is trying to face down a rebellion by some of her own lawmakers just as Britain enters a crucial stage in Brexit talks, 18 months before the country leaves the EU.