Members’ Emails

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons Commission – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 4th June 2015.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw 9:30 am, 4th June 2015

Which House staff or persons authorised by House staff have the ability and authority to view or authorise others to view hon. Members’ emails.

Photo of Paul Beresford Paul Beresford Conservative, Mole Valley

The short answer is none. The slightly longer answer is that viewing a Member’s emails can be done lawfully only with the consent of the Member, where a circuit judge has made a production order requiring material to be produced, or pursuant to a search warrant and in accordance with the Speaker’s protocol on the execution of a search warrant and the precedent of the House of Commons. Thus, no member of staff, including the parliamentary security director, has both the ability and the authority to view or authorise the viewing of Members’ emails.

Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that clarification. Will he confirm that should there be any change in those procedures, he will immediately report such matters to the House?

Photo of Paul Beresford Paul Beresford Conservative, Mole Valley

Either I or the appropriate Member will do so.