AN MP fighting for a Scot facing trial in India has revealed he does not have faith in Boris Johnson to handle the case.

Martin Docherty-Hughes says he will give the Foreign Secretary a chance to help detained Jagtar Singh Johal, but is preparing to deal directly with diplomats in India instead, branding Johnson an “irrelevance”.

The West Dunbartonshire MP made the comments as the Tory MP continued to resist pressure to step down after making inaccurate comments about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

READ MORE: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe wins apology from Boris Johnson and new hope of release

He apologised to her family yesterday more than a week after suggesting that she had been training journalists in Iran.

The British citizen had in fact been visiting family there and has been in prison for 18 months over claims that she was plotting to overthrow the regime. She is understood to be facing an additional five years imprisonment as a result of Johnson’s words, which have been treated as an admission of guilt.

Yesterday Docherty-Hughes said the Foreign Secretary’s actions in that case mean he has no certainty that the UK’s top diplomat will aid 30-year-old Jagtar, who was reportedly taken from the street in India’s Punjab region 10 days ago.

The Dumbarton man, known as Jaggi, had married in India one month earlier and faces charges of trying to radicalise young people by publishing material about the 1984 Sikh genocide on social media.

His family have been unable to speak to him and UK consular staff have also been denied access to him.

A second court appearance is scheduled for today and brother Gurpreet Singh Johal said he fears for his younger sibling’s safety.

Docherty-Hughes told The National that Jagtar, from Dumbarton’s Brucehill area, was unable to meet British consular staff or his legal team before his last court appearance and that he is “deeply concerned” about his welfare.

The SNP politician will attempt to ask an urgent question in the House of Commons today as he looks for action from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

On Johnson’s ability to act on Jagtar’s behalf, Docherty-Hughes says he will “give him a chance” to respond to a letter calling for action.

However, he went on: “I will work with anybody who is willing to help my constituent.

“If I have to go beyond him I will and that means working with the High Commissioner in India directly.

“He [Johnson] is irrelevant to me. There is a young man from Dumbarton in a jail without legal representation or access to the consular service. That is what matters.

“I need to give him [Johnson] the opportunity to respond, but I am sure I may find myself with others in asking for a replacement.”

It is understood that a document for Jagtar’s arrest was issued in 2016. However, his brother says the newly-wed was not in India at that time and is “law abiding”.

Gurpreet learned of the arrest in a call from his sister-in-law.

In an interview on a radio programme yesterday, he spoke of the family’s anxiety, stating: “The Punjab police is known for its torture, taking people in on remand.

“The biggest concern has been

that we have not had any access or any sight of him since he was, I would still call it abducted, on November 4.”

The case comes as six British citizens, including Argyll man Billy Irving, remain in an Indian jail after being convicted on illegal weapons charges.

The former soldiers, dubbed the Chennai Six, were working on an anti-piracy vessel when they were arrested four years ago and were last year given five-year sentences.

Initial charges had been dropped but they were prevented from leaving the country for a year and a half after prosecutors appealed, and their families have criticised the slow pace and handling by Indian authorities.

On the prospects for his constituent, Docherty-Hughes said: “The levels of bureaucracy in the Indian judiciary are well known. It is not what we would want here.

“What you can hope for is that the authorities live up to their international obligations and ensure Jagtar has access to consular staff and his legal team.”

Last night Scotland’s biggest Sikh temple indicated its support for Jagtar.

Glasgow Gurdwara tweeted: “India exposes its culture of impunity once again but Scotland won’t stand for it: Jagtar must be safely returned to Scotland.”

The National asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to respond to Docherty-Hughes’ comments about Johnson.

A spokesperson replied: “We are in contact with the family of a British man who has been detained in India. Our staff are in contact with the Indian authorities regarding his case.”