New Clause 1 - Report on the Prime Minister’s engagement with the Intelligence and Security Committee

Part of Investigatory Powers (Amendment)Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons am 7:00 pm ar 25 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Llafur, North Durham 7:00, 25 Mawrth 2024

I agree totally with the right hon. Gentleman, and I think that is where we are as a Government. Certainly those are the Fulford principles—that we do not share information. Again, some of the people who perhaps do not understand what our security services do, and those who want to malign their great work on our behalf sometimes say, “They are doing x, y and z.” Well as I know from seeing some examples, there are occasions where we deliberately do not pass on information to our allies because of the fear that the right hon. Gentleman set out. The detention and rendition report raised that issue, and the Fulford principles now give us strong guidance. Those principles have been put into being and sewn into the DNA of all new officers. As a result of a huge training programme, not just for existing officers but for new entrants into the service, officers now see that as an important part of their work. That is how it must be done, but it is always important to have this debate.

New clause 5 would

“require members of a relevant legislature who are targets of interception to be notified after the fact, as long as it does not compromise any ongoing investigation.”

I understand where the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden is coming from but—I must be careful what I say—I do not agree, because this is not about the security services wanting to see what someone has ordered on Amazon Prime or put in their Tesco basket this weekend. There are occasions when Members of Parliament will be brought into investigations not because they have done anything wrong, but because they have been targeted. For example, we had a statement today about MPs being targets. Should they know about it? In the right circumstances, yes, so that they can take reactive measures against it.

There may be situations regarding Members of Parliament and warranting powers in which they are not the main target, but they may be a target themselves, so such a measure would be difficult. Again, I will not say too much, but I think this provision is used more often than we think for those reasons. It is not because Members of Parliament, or Members of the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh or Northern Ireland Assemblies are doing things wrong, but because increasingly those who want to harm us are targeting our communications.