British hostage John Cantlie, captured by the so-called Islamic State is believed to be alive according to the Government.
British Security Minister Ben Wallace made the comments to journalists on Tuesday.
He did not say what intelligence supported the belief that the photojournalist, captured in northwestern Syria in November 2012, is still alive.
He did say officials believe Cantlie is still being held by so-called Islamic State operatives.
Cantlie was kidnapped by the militant group along with American journalist James Foley, who was eventually beheaded by the extremists.
Cantlie has worked for several publications, including The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph.
Wallace said the British government's policy is not to pay ransoms for hostages.
Since his capture Mr Cantlie has been seen in a string of propaganda videos for so-called Islamic State which he is believed to have been made to appear in under duress.
Most of them feature him speaking from Mosul as well as the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Kobani.