Category: Current Parliament

16 January 2024

The following appeared on the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings record for yesterday (Monday 15 January 2024):

8 Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

Ordered, That Maria Eagle be removed from the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under Schedule 1 to the Justice and Security Act 2013 and Dame Angela Eagle be appointed to that Committee under section 1 of that Act.

09:36, 16 January 2024

14 September 2023

The Government has today laid its response to the Committee’s ‘China’ Report, as it is obliged to do under the Memorandum of Understanding underpinning the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Committee will now consider the Government’s response to the 78 conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report.

However, the ISC Chairman, the Rt Hon. Sir Julian Lewis, said:

I welcome this substantial attempt to respond to our Report. However, it is misleading repeatedly to imply – as the Government does – that our findings are outdated. Until two months before publication, we monitored all relevant developments and noted them throughout the Report. This was not difficult to do given the glacial pace at which the Government’s China policy developed.

12:50, 14 September 2023

8 September 2023

The Rt Hon. Maria Eagle MP has, in accordance with the Justice and Security Act, written today to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament tendering her resignation from the Committee.

18:54, 8 September 2023

19 July 2023

Rt Hon. Theresa Villiers MP Recusal from ISC Iran Inquiry

The Rt Hon. Theresa Villiers MP has decided to recuse herself from the Intelligence and Security Committee’s Inquiry into national security issues relating to Iran. Ms Villiers regularly makes public statements on Iran and is mindful of the constraints that being involved in the ISC’s Iran Inquiry would place on her ability to continue to do so. Ms Villiers will therefore not be involved in any stage of the Committee’s Inquiry. (Any statements Ms Villiers therefore makes on Iran will be personal, rather than as a Member of the ISC.)

09:54, 19 July 2023

13 July 2023

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has today published the following report ‘China’, and has also issued a press release:

10:35, 13 July 2023

10 July 2023

The Committee reiterates its deepest sympathies to the families of those affected by the Manchester Arena attack.

The Committee has thoroughly considered the Manchester Arena Inquiry Report Volume 3 which was issued on 2 March, and its related closed recommendations which were issued on 5 June. These raise important issues which will ensure that lessons are learned from the tragic events of 22 May 2017.

The Committee has noted the suggestion by Sir John Saunders, the Chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry, that the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament might conduct monitoring of his closed recommendations, and the Committee has considered whether it is the right body to do so. The Committee agrees with Sir John that it is important his recommendations must be implemented, and that an appropriate form of monitoring is essential to ensure that this happens.

In terms of monitoring Sir John’s recommendations however, the Committee considers that its direct accountability to Parliament, and the constraints it operates under in terms of public reporting, mean that it cannot be transparent about its work – and this will frustrate those who are invested in this work being taken forward. The Committee has concluded therefore that, while it will seek to do all it can through the implementation of its own recommendations, it is not the right body to monitor those proposed by Sir John’s Inquiry. Instead the Committee supports Sir John’s suggestion that the Investigatory Powers Commissioner monitor his recommendations, or that the Inquiry team be reconvened to do so.

11:11, 10 July 2023

21 June 2023

Further to the notification on Monday that the Prime Minister’s confirmation had still not been received in relation to the ISC’s ‘China’ Report, the Prime Minister provided that confirmation this afternoon. The ‘China’ Report will therefore be laid before Parliament ahead of the House rising for recess.

However, the Committee is still seeking answers from the Government as to why confirmation was delayed.

18:19, 21 June 2023

19 June 2023

The Committee sent its Report, ‘China’, to the Prime Minister on 15 May 2023, so that he could consider whether there is any information in the Report which, if published, would be prejudicial to the continued discharge of the functions of the security and intelligence Agencies (in accordance with the Justice and Security Act 2013). By convention the Committee asks that the Prime Minister provide that confirmation within ten working days.

This period expired on Tuesday 30 May, without a response having been received from the Prime Minister. The Committee noted on Tuesday 13 June that it had been a further ten working days since the original deadline elapsed and that the Committee had still not received a response from the Prime Minister.

The Committee has been seeking to establish from the Government why this confirmation has been delayed. It has already been made clear that – due to the length of time it takes to prepare such reports for publication – if the Prime Minister’s confirmation is not received in the next few days then it will be very unlikely that the Report can be published before Parliament rises for the summer.

We have recently been told that the Prime Minister’s office has “now” been given the Report by the Cabinet Office. We trust, therefore, that the Prime Minister will provide his confirmation in the next few days so that publication of the Report is not delayed.

13:25, 19 June 2023