Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security
Mr Mark Oaten (Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Home Affairs; Winchester, Liberal Democrat)
I also hope that the Home Secretary can clarify his thinking on security-vetted judges and trials by judges alone. Again, Liberal Democrat Members are concerned about breaking into long-held establishments.
Finally—I touched on this point in an earlier intervention on the Home Secretary—Liberal Democrat Members support the move to strengthen our intelligence services, which do a valuable job and play a valuable role. Without prejudging the Butler report, we may discover that the intelligence services have been undervalued and under-resourced and that they have not received the proper technology in previous years.
Without prejudging that report, I hope that the Home Secretary's announcement that staffing up is taking place is an acknowledgement that one way to tackle the terror threat is to make sure that we have the necessary resources and the skills of individuals on the ground. Perhaps the Minister can comment on the difficulty of making sure that we recruit from the right communities, because intelligence is about making sure that we can talk to and be involved in, for example, Muslim communities in this country. That is complex and difficult. I hope that when we look at staffing up and resourcing, we shall have in mind in particular the ability to talk to those individual communities.