asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what authority an immigration official took the names of passengers who had taken part in a lobby of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council meeting in Paris on Tuesday 15th December, when those passengers returned to Gatwick Airport on Wednesday 16th December; and what was the purpose of this official's action.
No names of any such passengers were recorded by the immigration officer. I am informed, however, that in the discharge of his duty a police officer briefly noted certain particulars connected with this flight.
Why was this particular group singled out for this treatment? What was the objective which the police officer had in view? Will my right hon. and learned Friend ensure that this practice is not continued on future occasions of this sort?
My information is that the passengers in question were not singled out for any special treatment. The officer in question was carrying out purely normal routine duties, and in the course of the discharge of those duties he noted the particulars which he thought might be of some interest.