Actress Emma Thompson has accused Boris Johnson of doing “sweet FA” for the British-Iranian woman imprisoned in Iran.
The actress was speaking at a march for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested in Tehran while on holiday last April. She and the couple’s daughter Gabriella, three, have been in Iran ever since.
Boris Johnson fuelled public attention to her case when he mistakenly said she was in Iran to train journalists, which Iranian authorities seized on as evidence she was a spy.
Thompson was among the Hampstead locals who attended a “Mum’s March” for Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whose husband Richard Ratcliffe wants her back by Christmas.
She told LBC that Johnson had to “get on a bloody plane and get on with it... do your job”, adding Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release was a “matter of urgency”.
Before the march, Zaghari-Ratcliffe - who speaks to her husband at least weekly - spoke by phone and loud speaker to the crowd, saying she “doesn’t deserve her husband” and thanked people for their “love and support”.
Speaking about her hopes to be released, she said: “I can’t wait for that day.”
She has endured health scares, including lumps in her breasts that she initially feared were cancerous and her husband has repeatedly warned her mental health is worsening.
Thompson went out to march despite being ill with pneumonia and only being able to address the crowd through her husband Greg Wise.
She added her voice to those calling for Zaghari-Ratcliffe to be brought home by Christmas.
People carried signs demanding her release, many focussed on Johnson, whose gaffe has left the threat of more prison time hanging over her.
“Boris hear our voices,” said one. “Give them a family Christmas,” said another.
MP Tulip Siddiq, who has fought her constituent’s release and met Johnson alongside Ratcliffe last week, was also at the march.
The march went to the Islamic Centre in Maida Vale, where they delivered a letter addressed to Iran’s Supreme Leader, calling for her release.
Zaghari-Ratclife is due to face another court date on December 10, diminishing hopes she could be free by Christmas.
Ratcliffe told HuffPost UK he still had hope and said the fresh court date might see Johnson’s remarks included as evidence against her.