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 7:45 pm ar 25 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Ceidwadwyr, South Holland and The Deepings 7:45, 25 Mawrth 2024

That is a 100% win. It is not half a win or three quarters of a win; it is just a win. So we are making huge progress tonight, partly due to the diligence of the members of the ISC and other Members of this House, including the official Opposition, but largely due to the reasonableness of the Minister. He is a listening figure, and he is growing in stature and reputation as a result. I am delighted that the Minister has agreed to the fourth of my requirements.

I did have a fifth request, however, and I was inspired to make it by none other than the shadow Minister. That will come as a surprise, perhaps including to the shadow Minister himself, but he made a very strong point when moving his new clause 1 about finding some way of formalising the expectation that this legislation would be regularly reviewed and, when necessary, updated. I do not imagine that the Minister will rush to accept such an amendment in the name of the official Opposition—it would certainly be unconventional were he so to do—but it is worthy of further consideration by the Government.

This is going to be a challenging business for whoever the Security Minister is, but recognising the dynamism of the threat we face and therefore the necessity of an equally dynamic response is of great significance and value. I hope the Minister, when he sums up, might find some words that will allow him to recognise the sensible suggestion made by the shadow Minister, and the spirit in which it was made. That would be further evidence of the Minister’s stature, of which I am an advocate at the moment, but I am seeking further adherents to my cause.

With those few remarks and endorsing much of what has already been said, I will draw my speech to a conclusion with this thought. I spoke earlier about Thomas Mann and his description of tolerance and evil, but perhaps Chesterton put this most succinctly when he said:

“Unless a man becomes the enemy of an evil, he will not even become its slave but rather its champion.”

Every time we have doubt and fear when facing the wicked people who seek to do us harm and who took the lives of our dear colleagues, we give them solace. Every time we stand firm, and do what is necessary to defend our nation and its people, we do what is right. The Minister has the great privilege of leading that effort tonight, and in doing so he should have the support of all men and women of good will across this House.