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Persons who may make modifications

Investigatory Powers Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:01 pm on 6th June 2016.

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“(1) A major modification may be made by—

(a) the Secretary of State, in the case of a warrant issued by the Secretary of State,

(b) a member of the Scottish Government, in the case of a warrant issued by the Scottish Ministers, or

(c) a senior official acting on behalf of the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) the Scottish Ministers.

(2) A minor modification may be made by—

(a) the Secretary of State, in the case of a warrant issued by the Secretary of State,

(b) a member of the Scottish Government, in the case of a warrant issued by the Scottish Ministers,

(c) a senior official acting on behalf of the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) the Scottish Ministers,

(d) the person to whom the warrant is addressed, or

(e) a person who holds a senior position in the same public authority as the person mentioned in paragraph (d).

(3) But if a person within subsection (2)(d) or (e) considers that there is an urgent need to make a major modification, that person (as well as a person within subsection (1) may do so.

Section 31 contains provision about the approval of major modifications made in urgent cases.

(4) Subsections (1) and (3) are subject to section (Further provision about modifications) (5) and (6) (special rules where section 24 or 25 applies in relation to the making of a major modification).

(5) For the purposes of subsection (2)(e) a person holds a senior position in a public authority if—

(a) in the case of any of the intelligence services—

(i) the person is a member of the Senior Civil Service or a member of the Senior Management Structure of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, or

(ii) the person holds a position in the intelligence service of equivalent seniority to such a person;

(b) in the case of the National Crime Agency, the person is a National Crime Agency officer of grade 2 or above;

(c) in the case of the metropolitan police force, the Police Service of Northern Ireland or the Police Service of Scotland, a person is of or above the rank of superintendent;

(d) in the case of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the person is a member of the Senior Civil Service;

(e) in the case of the Ministry of Defence—

(i) the person is a member of the Senior Civil Service, or

(ii) the person is of or above the rank of brigadier, commodore or air commodore.

(6) In this section “senior official” means—

(a) in the case of a warrant issued by the Secretary of State, a member of the Senior Civil Service or a member of the Senior Management Structure of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service;

(b) in the case of a warrant issued by the Scottish Ministers, a member of the staff of the Scottish Administration who is a member of the Senior Civil Service.” —(Mrs May.)

The new clause reproduces clause 30(5) to (8) and includes provision consequential on NC8.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Speaker of the House of Commons

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Government new clause 8—Further provision about modifications.

Government new clause 9—Notification of major modifications.

New clause 20—Power of Secretary of State to certify warrants—

“(1) The Secretary of State may certify an application for a warrant in those cases where the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe that an application is necessary pursuant to section 18(2)(a) (national security) and involves—

(a) the defence of the United Kingdom by Armed Forces; or

(b) the foreign policy of the United Kingdom.

(2) A warrant may be certified by the Secretary of State if—

(a) the Secretary of State considers that the warrant is necessary on grounds falling within section 18; and

(b) the Secretary of State considers that the conduct authorised by the warrant is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by that conduct.

(3) Any warrant certified by the Secretary of State subject to subsection (1) is subject to approval by a Judicial Commissioner.

(4) In deciding to approve a warrant pursuant to this section, the Judicial Commissioner must determine whether—

(a) the warrant is capable of certification by the Secretary of State subject to subsection (1);

(b) the warrant is necessary on relevant grounds subject to section 18(2)(a) and subsection (1)(a) or (b); and

(c) the conduct authorised by the warrant is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by that conduct.

(5) Where a Judicial Commissioner refuses to approve the person’s decision to approve a warrant under this section, the Judicial Commissioner must produce written reasons for the refusal.

(6) Where a Judicial Commissioner, other than the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, approves or refuses to approve a warrant under this Section, the person, or any Special Advocate appointed, may ask the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to decide whether to approve the decision to issue the warrant.”

Amendment 267, in clause 15, page 12, line 3, leave out “or organisation”.

These amendments would retain the capacity of a single warrant to permit the interception of multiple individuals but would require an identifiable subject matter or premises to be provided. This narrows the current provisions which would effectively permit a limitless number of unidentified individuals to have their communications intercepted.

Amendment 25, page 12, line 7, leave out “or” and insert “and”.

On behalf of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, to limit the potentially broad scope of thematic warrants involving people who “share a common purpose” by ensuring that they also must be engaged in a particular activity.

Amendment 131, page 12, line 8, after “activity” insert

“where each person is named or otherwise identified”.

These amendments seek to make more specific the currently very broadly worded thematic warrants in the Bill, to make it more likely that such thematic warrants will be compatible with the requirements of Article 8 ECHR as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights.

Amendment 268, page 12, line 9, leave out “or organisation”.

See amendment 267

Amendment 132, page 12, line 11, after “operation” insert

“where each person is named or otherwise identified”.

See amendment 131.

Amendment 272, page 12, line 12, leave out paragraph (c).

See amendment 267.

Amendment 306, page 12, line 13, leave out subsection (3).

See amendment 267.

Amendment 218, in clause 17, page 13, line 8, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 219, page 13, line 10, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 220, page 13, line 13, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 221, page 13, line 16, leave out subsection (1)(d).

Amendment 222, page 13, line 20, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 223, page 13, line 22, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 224, page 13, line 24, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 225, page 13, line 27, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 226, page 13, line 3, leave out subsection (2)(d).

Amendment 227, page 13, line 35, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 228, page 13, line 37, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 229, page 13, line 39, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 230, page 13, line 42, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 231, page 13, line 45, leave out subsection (3)(d).

Amendment 232, page 14, line 5, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 233, page 14, line 8, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 234, page 14, leave out lines 11 and 12.

Amendment 235, page 14, line 13, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 312, in clause 18, page 14, line 22, leave out paragraph (c).

See amendment 313.

Amendment 313, page 14, line 24, at end insert—

‘(2A) A warrant may be considered necessary as mentioned in subsection (2)(b) and (3) only where there is a reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence has been or is likely to be committed.”

These amendments would require that there is reasonable suspicion of serious crime for a warrant authorising interception and delete the separate subsection relating to economic well-being of the UK.

Amendment 236, page 14, line 30, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 237, page 14, line 31, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 262, page 14, line 38, at end insert—

‘(6) The fact that the information which would be obtained under a warrant relates to the activities in the British Islands of a trade union is not, of itself, sufficient to establish that the warrant is necessary on grounds falling within this section.”

This amendment restricts the application of warrants in relation to trade union activity.

Amendment 238, page 14, line 39, leave out clause 19.

Amendment 208, in clause 21, page 17, line 4, leave out

“review the person’s conclusions as to the following matters” and insert “determine”.

Amendment 209, page 17, line 10, leave out subsection (2).

Government manuscript amendment 497.

Amendment 265, page 17, line 10, leave out from “must” to end of line 11, and insert

“subject a person’s decision to issue a warrant under this Chapter to close scrutiny to ensure that the objective in issuing a warrant is sufficiently important to justify any limitation of a Convention right”.

An amendment to clarify the role of judicial commissioners. This amendment is an alternative to amendments 208 and 209 (which are a package).

Government manuscript amendment 498.

Amendment 314, in clause 24, page 18, line 39, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 316.

Amendment 315, page 18, line 41, leave out subsection (b) and insert—

“(b) the warrant involves a member of a relevant legislature.”

See amendment 316.

Government amendment 53.

Amendment 316, page 19, line 7, leave out subsection (2) and insert—

“(2) Further to the requirements set out elsewhere in this Part, the Judicial Commissioner may only issue a warrant if—

(a) there are reasonable grounds for believing that an indictable offence has been committed,

(b) there are reasonable grounds for believing that the material is likely to be of substantial value to the investigation in connection to the offence at (a),

(c) other proportionate methods of obtaining the material have been tried without success or have not been tried because it appeared that they were bound to fail,

(d) it is in the public interest having regard to the democratic interest in the confidentiality of correspondence with members of a relevant legislature.”

These amendments would ensure that applications for warrants to intercept the communications of elected politicians would be made to the Judicial Commissioner rather than to the Secretary of State via the Prime Minister. They would also set out additional requirements that the Judicial Commissioner must take into account before granting a warrant.

Amendment 1, page 19, line 8, at end insert

“and where the member is a member of the House of Commons he must also consult the Speaker of the House of Commons.”

This amendment would require the Secretary of State to consult the Speaker before deciding to issue a warrant that applied to an MP’s communications.

Amendment 137, page 19, line 8, after “Minister” insert

“and give sufficient notice to the relevant Presiding Officer of the relevant legislature to enable the relevant Presiding Officer to be heard at the hearing before the Judicial Commissioner.”

Amendment 138, page 19, line 14, at end insert—

“(4) In this section “the relevant Presiding Officer” means—

(a) the Speaker of the House of Commons,

(b) the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords,

(c) the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament,

(d) the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales,

(e) the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly,

(f) the President of the European Parliament.”

This amendment adds the safeguard of giving the Speaker, or other Presiding Officer, of the relevant legislature, sufficient notice before the Secretary of State decides whether to issue a warrant for targeted interception or examination of members’ communications, to enable the Speaker or Presiding Officer to be heard at the hearing before the Judicial Commissioner.

Amendment 139, in clause 25, page 19, line 16, leave out subsections (1) to (3).

This amendment removes the power to apply for a warrant the purpose of which is to authorise the interception, or selection for examination, of items subject to legal privilege.

Amendment 140, page 19, line 44, leave out subsection (4)(c).

See amendment 141.

Amendment 141, page 20, line 7, after “considers” insert—

“(a) that there are exceptional and compelling circumstances that make it necessary to authorise the interception, or (in the case of a targeted examination warrant) the selection for examination, of items subject to legal privilege, and

(b) ”.

These amendments introduce a threshold test for the interception or examination of communications likely to include items subject to legal privilege, reflecting the strong presumption against interference with lawyer-client confidentiality.

Amendment 307, in clause 27, page 21, line 7, leave out “or organisation”.

See amendment 267.

Amendment 308, page 21, line 8, leave out “or organisation”.

See amendment 267.

Amendment 309, page 21, line 13, leave out

“or describe as many of those persons as is reasonably practicable to name or describe” and insert

“or specifically identify all of those persons using unique identifiers.”

See amendment 267.

Amendment 310, page 21, line 15, leave out “or organisation”.

See amendment 267.

Amendment 311, page 21, line 19, leave out

“or describe as many of those persons or organisations or as many of those sets of premises, as it is reasonably practicable to name or describe” and insert

“all of those persons or sets of premises.”

See amendment 267.

Amendment 19, in clause 29, page 22, line 25, leave out

“before the end of the relevant” and insert “during the renewal”.

See amendment 20.

Amendment 20, page 23, line 4, at end insert—

“(4A) ‘The renewal period’ means—

(a) in the case of an urgent warrant which has not been renewed, the relevant period;

(b) in any other case, the period of 30 days ending with the relevant period.”

On behalf of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, to prohibit the possibility of a warrant being renewed immediately. Clauses 28 and 29 would currently theoretically allow for warrants of 12 months duration rather than the intended six.

Amendment 21, page 23, line 16, at end insert—

“(8A) In this section ‘urgent warrant’ has the same meaning as in section 28.”

See amendment 20.

Amendment 147, page 23, line 19, leave out clause 30.

Government amendments 54 to 57.

Amendment 142, in clause 30, page 24, line 45, at end insert—

“(10A) Section 21 (Approval of warrants by Judicial Commissioners) applies in relation to a decision to make a major modification of a warrant by adding a name or description as mentioned in subsection (2)(a) as it applies in relation to a decision to issue a warrant; and accordingly where section 21 applies a Judicial Commissioner must approve the modification.”

This amendment seeks to ensure that major modifications of warrants require judicial approval.

Government amendment 58.

Amendment 148, page 25, line 22, leave out clause 31.

Government amendments 59 to 73.

Amendment 317, page 34, line 21, leave out clause 44.

This amendment would delete a Clause which permits the creation of additional interception powers immigration detention facilities.

Amendment 15, in clause 45, page 34, line 42, leave out “C” and insert “D”.

Consequential upon amendment 16.

Amendment 16, page 35, line 7, at end insert—

“(3A) Condition C is that the interception is carried out for the purpose of obtaining information about the communications of an individual who, both the interceptor and the person making the request have reasonable grounds for believing, is outside the United Kingdom.”

On behalf of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, to reinstate the current safeguard in RIPA that the person being intercepted must be outside the UK.

Amendment 17, page 35, line 8, leave out “C” and insert “D”.

Consequential upon amendment 16.

Government amendments 75 to 77.

Amendment 299, in clause 51, page 41, line 18, at end insert—

“(4) In proceedings against any person for an offence under this section in respect of any disclosure, it is a defence for the person to show that the disclosure was in the public interest.”

An amendment to introduce a public interest defence for interception disclosures.

Government amendment 74.

Government new clause 11—Persons who may make modifications under section 104.

Government new clause 12—Further provision about modifications under section 104.

Government new clause 13—Notification of modifications.

New clause 23—Members of Parliament

“(1) This section applies where—

(a) an application is made to the Judicial Commissioner for a targeted equipment interference warrant, and

(b) the warrant relates to a member of a relevant legislature.

(2) This section also applies where—

(a) an application is made to the Judicial Commissioner for a targeted examination warrant, and

(b) the warrant relates to a member of a relevant legislature.

(3) Where any conduct under this Part is likely to cover material described above, the application must contain—

(a) a statement that the conduct will cover or is likely to cover such material,

(b) An assessment of how likely it is that the material is likely to cover such material.

(4) Further to the requirements set out elsewhere in this part, the Judicial Commissioner may only issue a warrant if—

(a) there are reasonable grounds for believing that an indictable offence has been committed, and

(b) there are reasonable grounds for believing that the material is likely to be of substantial value to the investigation in connection to the offence at (a), and

(c) other proportionate methods of obtaining the material have been tried without success or have not been tried because they were assessed to be bound to fail, and

(d) it is in the public interest having regard to:

(i) the public interest in the protection of privacy and the integrity of personal data,

(ii) the public interest in the integrity of communications systems and computer networks, and,

(iii) the democratic interest in the confidentiality of correspondence with members of a relevant legislature.”

This new clause would ensure that applications for a targeted equipment interference warrant or targeted examination warrant in relation to Parliamentarians are granted on application only to a Judicial Commissioner, removing the role of Secretary of State and applies additional safeguards to the correspondence of parliamentarians when a warrant for hacking is sought.

New clause 24—Audit trail of equipment interference—

“Any conduct authorised under a warrant issued under this Part must be conducted in a verifiable manner, so as to produce a chronological record of documentary evidence detailing the sequence of activities (referred to hereafter as ‘the audit trail’).”

See amendment 387.

Amendment 178, in clause 90, page 68, line 24, leave out subsection (1)(b).

See amendment 186.

Amendment 133, page 68, line 26, after “activity” insert

“where each person is named or otherwise identified”.

See amendment 131.

Amendment 134, page 68, line 29, after “operation” insert

“where each person is named or otherwise identified”.

See amendment 131.

Amendment 179, page 68, line 31, leave out subsection (1)(e).

See amendment 186.

Amendment 180, page 68, line 33, leave out subsection (1)(f).

See amendment 186.

Amendment 181, page 68, line 35, leave out subsection (1)(g).

See amendment 186.

Amendment 182, page 68, line 38, leave out subsection (1)(h).

See amendment 186.

Amendment 187, page 68, line 40, at end insert—

“(1A) A targeted equipment interference warrant may only be issued in relation to any of the matters that fall under subsection (1) if the persons, equipment, or location to which the warrant relates are named or specifically identified using a unique identifier.”

This amendment would ensure that all targets of hacking are properly named or otherwise identified.

Amendment 352, page 68, line 44, leave out paragraph (b).

See amendment 357.

Amendment 135, page 68, line 45, after “activity” insert

“where each person is named or otherwise identified”.

See amendment 131.

Amendment 136, page 68, line 47, after “operation” insert

“where each person is named or otherwise identified”.

See amendment 131.

Amendment 353, page 69, line 1, leave out paragraph (d).

See amendment 357.

Amendment 354, page 69, line 3, leave out paragraph (e).

See amendment 357.

Amendment 188, page 69, line 4, at end insert—

“(2A) A targeted examination warrant may only be issued in relation to any of the matters that fall under subsection (2) if the persons, equipment, or location to which the warrant relates are named or specifically identified using a unique identifier.”

This amendment would ensure that all targets of hacking are properly named or specifically identified.

Amendment 239, in clause 91, page 69, line 9, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 240, page 69, line 11, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 241, page 69, line 14, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 242, page 69, line 17, leave out subsection (3)(d).

Amendment 358, page 69, line 17, leave out paragraph (d) and insert—

“(d) the Judicial Commissioner has reasonable grounds for believing that the material sought is likely to be of substantial value to the investigation or operation to which the warrant relates.”

See amendment 361.

Amendment 243, page 69, line 20, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 244, page 69, line 22, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 245, page 69, line 24, leave out “and”.

Amendment 246, page 69, line 25, leave out subsection (2)(b).

Amendment 247, page 69, line 31, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 248, page 69, line 33, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 249, page 69, line 35, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 250, page 69, line 38, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 251, page 69, line 43, leave out subsection (3)(d).

Amendment 252, page 69, line 46, leave out subsection (4).

Amendment 359, page 70, line 8, after “crime” insert

“where there is reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence has been or is likely to be committed”.

See amendment 361.

Amendment 360, page 70, line 11, at end insert—

‘(5A) A warrant may be considered necessary only where there is a reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence has been or is likely to be committed in relation to the grounds falling within this section.”

See amendment 361.

Amendment 361, page 70, line 25, at end insert—

“(10) A warrant may only authorise targeted equipment interference or targeted examination as far as the conduct authorised relates—

(a) to the offence as specified under (5)(b), or

(b) to some other indictable offence which is connected with or similar to the offence as specified under (5)(b)”.

These amendments would require that there is reasonable suspicion of serious crime for a warrant authorising equipment interference to be issued. These amendments would introduce a requirement that warrants are only granted where there are reasonable grounds for believing material to be obtained will be of substantial value to the investigation or operation; the requirement of a threshold of reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence has been committed in order for a warrant to be granted; and the requirement that warrant applications contain this information. This amendment would require that a warrant only authorises conduct in relation to the offence for which the warrant was sought, or other similar offences.

Amendment 258, page 70, line 26, leave out Clause 92.

Amendment 253, in clause 93, page 71, line 21, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 254, page 71, line 23, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 255, page 71, line 25, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 256, page 71, line 28, leave out “Secretary of State” and insert “Judicial Commissioners”.

Amendment 257, page 71, line 31, leave out subsection (1)(d).

Amendment 382, page 71, line 31, leave out subsection (d) and insert—

“(d) the Judicial Commissioner has reasonable grounds for believing that the material sought is likely to be of substantial value to the investigation or operation to which the warrant relates.”

See amendment 362.

Amendment 362, page 71, line 35, leave out from “include” to the end of line 36 and insert—

“(a) the requirement that other proportionate methods of obtaining the material have been tried without success or have not been tried because they were assessed to be bound to fail, and

(b) the requirement that a “Cyber-Security Impact Assessment” has been conducted by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s technical advisors with regard to the specific equipment interference proposed, accounting for—

(i) the risk of collateral interference and intrusion, and

(ii) the risk to the integrity of communications systems and computer networks, and the risk to public cybersecurity.”

These amendments require a technical assessment of proportionality accounting for the risks of the conduct proposed. These requirements would apply when applications from the intelligence services, the Chief of Defence Intelligence and law enforcement are considered. These amendments would introduce a requirement that warrants are only granted where there are reasonable grounds for believing material to be obtained will be of substantial value to the investigation or operation; the requirement of a threshold of reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence has been committed in order for a warrant to be granted; and the requirement that warrant applications contain this information.

Amendment 363, page 71, line 40, leave out Clause 94.

Government amendments 88 to 91.

Amendment 259, page 72, line 18, leave out Clause 95.

Amendment 364, in clause 96, page 72, line 37, leave out

“law enforcement chief described in Part 1 or 2 of the table in Schedule 6” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 365, page 72, line 38, leave out

“person who is an appropriate law enforcement officer in relation to the chief” and insert

“law enforcement chief described in Part 1 of the table in Schedule 6”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 366, page 72, line 41, leave out “law enforcement chief” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 367, page 73, line 1, leave out “law enforcement chief” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 368, page 73, line 4, leave out “law enforcement chief” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 369, page 73, line 7, leave out paragraph (d).

See amendment 383.

Amendment 370, page 73, line 10, leave out

“law enforcement chief described in Part 1 of the table in Schedule 6” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 371, page 73, line 11, leave out

“person who is an appropriate law enforcement officer in relation to the chief” and insert

“law enforcement chief described in Part 1 of the table in Schedule 6”

See amendment 383.

Amendment 372, page 73, line 13, leave out “law enforcement chief” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 373, page 73, line 17, leave out “law enforcement chief” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 374, page 73, line 20, leave out “law enforcement chief” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 375, page 73, line 23, leave out paragraph (d).

See amendment 383.

Amendment 376, page 73, line 26, leave out subsection (3).

See amendment 383.

Amendment 261, page 73, line 26, leave out “law enforcement chief” and insert “Judicial Commissioner”.

Amendment 377, page 73, line 32, leave out paragraphs (b) and (c).

Amendment 378, page 73, line 38, after “Where” insert

“an application for an equipment interference warrant is made by a law enforcement chief and”.

See amendment 383.

Amendment 379, page 73, line 42, leave out subsections (6) to (10).

See amendment 383.

Government amendment 92.

Amendment 380, page 74, line 15, leave out

“whether what is sought to be achieved by the warrant could reasonably be achieved by other means” and insert—

“(a) the requirement that other proportionate methods of obtaining the material have been tried without success or have not been tried because they were assessed to be bound to fail, and

(b) the requirement that a “Cyber-Security Impact Assessment” has been conducted by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s technical advisors with regard to the specific equipment interference proposed, accounting for—

(i) the risk of collateral interference and intrusion, and

(ii) the risk to the integrity of communications systems and computer networks, and the risk to public cybersecurity.”

See amendment 383.

Amendment 381, in clause 96, page 74, line 18, leave out subsections (12) and (13)

See amendment 383.

Amendment 210, in clause 97, page 74, line 40, leave out

“review the person’s conclusions as to the following matters” and insert “determine”.

Amendment 211, page 75, line 1, leave out subsection (2).

Amendment 270, page 75, line 1, leave out from “must” to end of line 2, and insert

“subject a person’s decision to issue a warrant under this Chapter to close scrutiny to ensure that the objective in issuing a warrant is sufficiently important to justify any limitation of a Convention right”.

An amendment to clarify the role of judicial commissioners. This amendment is an alternative to amendments 210 and 211 (which are a package).

Amendment 183, in clause 101, page 78, leave out lines 21 to 27.

See amendment 186.

Amendment 184, page 79, leave out lines 3 to 7.

See amendment 186.

Amendment 185, page 79, leave out lines 8 to 12.

See amendment 186.

Amendment 186, page 79, leave out lines 13 to 18.

These amendments refine the matters to which targeted equipment interference warrants may relate by removing vague and overly broad categories including equipment interference for training purposes.

Amendment 386, page 79, line 21, leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

“(b) precisely and explicitly the method and extent of the proposed intrusion and measures taken to minimise access to irrelevant and immaterial information, and

(c) in a separate “Cyber-Security Impact Assessment”,

(i) the risk of collateral interference and intrusion, and

(ii) the risk to the integrity of communications systems and computer networks, and

(iii) the risk to public cybersecurity, and how those risks and damage will be eliminated or corrected.”

See amendment 387.

Amendment 387, page 79, line 23, at end insert—

“(c) the basis for the suspicion that the target is connected to a serious crime or a specific threat to national security, and

(d) in declaration with supporting evidence,

(i) the high probability that evidence of the serious crime or specific threat to national security will be obtained by the operation authorised, and

(ii) how all less intrusive methods of obtaining the information sought have been exhausted or would be futile.”

These amendments require a technical assessment of proportionality accounting for the risks of the conduct proposed. These requirements would apply when applications from the intelligence services, the Chief of Defence Intelligence and law enforcement are considered. They would introduce a requirement that all equipment interference produces a verifiable audit trail. These amendments would introduce a requirement that warrants are only granted where there are reasonable grounds for believing material to be obtained will be of substantial value to the investigation or operation; the requirement of a threshold of reasonable suspicion that a serious criminal offence has been committed in order for a warrant to be granted; and the requirement that warrant applications contain this information.

Amendment 355, page 79, leave out lines 31 to 36.

See amendment 357.

Amendment 356, page 79, leave out lines 37 to 44.

See amendment 357.

Amendment 357, page 80, leave out lines 8 to 12.

These amendments would ensure that all targets of hacking are properly named or specifically identified. Warrants may still be granted where the equipment in question belongs to or is in the possession of an individual or more than one person where the warrant is for the purpose of a single investigation or operation; or for equipment in a particular location or equipment in more than one location where for the purpose of a single investigation or operation.

Amendment 388, in clause 102, page 80, line 23, leave out “6” and insert “1”.

This specifies that hacking warrants may only last for one month.

Government amendments 93 to 96.

Amendment 149, page 82, line 1, leave out clause 104.

Government amendments 97 to 100.

Amendment 150, page 83, line 36, leave out clause 105.

Government amendments 101 to 113.

Amendment 151, page 84, line 34, leave out clause 106.

Government amendments 114 to 120.

Amendment 152, page 85, line 40, leave out clause 107.

Amendment 173, page 87, line 26, leave out clause 109.

Amendment 174, page 88, line 7, leave out clause 110.

Government amendments 121 and 122.

Amendment 175, page 88, line 35, leave out clause 111.

Amendment 176, in clause 114, page 92, line 6, leave out subsection (3)(e).

Amendment 177, page 92, line 8, leave out subsection (3)(f).

Government amendment 123.

Amendment 302, in clause 116, page 93, line 39, at end insert—

‘(4) In proceedings against any person for an offence under this section in respect of any disclosure, it is a defence for the person to show that the disclosure was in the public interest.”

An amendment to introduce a public interest defence for equipment interference disclosures.

Government amendment 124.

Amendment 383, in schedule 6, page 214, line 7, leave out part 2.

These amendments remove the power for law enforcement chiefs to issue equipment interference warrants on application from law enforcement officers and replace it with the power for Judicial Commissioners to issue equipment interference warrants on application from law enforcement chiefs. They also remove the power to issue equipment interference warrants from other officers listed in Part 2, Schedule 6. These amendments require a technical assessment of proportionality accounting for the risks of the conduct proposed. These requirements would apply when applications from the intelligence services, the Chief of Defence Intelligence and law enforcement are considered.

Government amendments 125 and 126.

Government new clause 10.

Amendment 488, page 167, line 9, leave out clause 216.

This amendment would remove the provision for national security notices.

Government amendment 78.

Amendment 196, in clause 216, page 167, line 14, after “State”, insert

“and Investigatory Powers Commissioner consider”.

See amendment 205.

Amendment 197, page 167, line 32, after “State”, insert

“and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

See amendment 205.

Government amendment 79.

Amendment 489, page 167, line 35, leave out clause 217.

This amendment would remove the provision for technical capability notices.

Government amendments 80 and 81.

Amendment 198, page 168, line 9 [Clause 217], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner consider”.

See amendment 205.

Government amendment 82.

Amendment 199, page 168, line 27 [Clause 217], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

See amendment 205.

Government amendment 83.

Amendment 200, page 168, line 36 [Clause 217], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

See amendment 205.

Amendment 201, page 168, line 40 [Clause 217], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

See amendment 205.

Government amendments 84 and 85.

Amendment 490, page 169, line 2, leave out clause 218.

Consequential amendment following deletion of national security and technical capability notices.

Amendment 202, page 169, line 6 [Clause 218], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

See amendment 205.

Amendment 203, page 169, line 8 [Clause 218], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

See amendment 205.

Government amendment 86.

Amendment 204, page 169, line 20 [Clause 218], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

See amendment 205.

Amendment 205, page 169, line 34 [Clause 218], after “State”, insert “and Investigatory Powers Commissioner”.

National Security and Technical Capability Notices should be subject to a double lock authorisation by the Secretary of State and the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Government amendment 87.

Amendment 491, page 170, line 10, leave out clause 219.

Consequential amendment following deletion of national security and technical capability notices.

Amendment 492, page 170, line 38, leave out clause 220.

Consequential amendment following deletion of national security and technical capability notices.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

It is a pleasure to deal with the second group of amendments. It is a large group, which some hon. Members have described to me as “unprecedented”. I would not be so bold as to say that, having served a mere six years in this place. I concede, however, that the group is considerable. That perhaps reflects the huge and legitimate interest of Members of all parties in these particular parts of the Bill.

Parts 2 and 5 of the Bill were debated at length in Public Bill Committee. The Government have listened to what was said in those debates and we have brought back a number of amendments in response. These changes will strengthen protections for parliamentarians; enhance the safeguards for targeted thematic warrants; and provide greater assurances in respect of the obligations that might be placed on communications service providers.

Before I come on to the detail of the Government amendments, let me say a few words about one of the most important issues that we will discuss in this group: the authorisation of warrants.

When the Government published the draft Bill in November last year, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced the intention that warrants for the most sensitive powers available to the security and intelligence agencies would be authorised by the Secretary of State and approved by a senior independent judge. This would maintain democratic accountability and introduce a new element of judicial independence into the warrant authorising process. This double lock represents the most significant change in our lifetimes to the way in which the security and intelligence agencies exercise their vital powers. This is ground-breaking, innovative and important in striking a balance between the public interest in protecting our citizens and the interests of privacy. There is a range of views in the House on the question of authorisations, and I am sure that we will have a productive and weighty debate on these matters this evening.

The amendments tabled by Keir Starmer seek to remove the reference to judicial review principles. The House will be aware that the Joint Committee that considered the draft Bill said that it was “satisfied” with the wording of the Bill and that judicial review principles would

“afford the Judicial Commissioner a degree of flexibility.”

That flexibility is important. It provides that judicial commissioners can undertake detailed scrutiny of decisions where appropriate, but it does not oblige judges to undertake forensic scrutiny of even the most straightforward warrants, because to do so would be unnecessary and would threaten the operational agility of the security and intelligence agencies.

In our debate on the first group of amendments, we had a mini-debate—we might have strayed slightly off piste—on the language that should be used in relation to the scrutiny that we want the judicial commissioners to deploy when considering their part in the double-lock mechanism. However, I believe that the manuscript amendment provides precisely the assurance that Opposition Members were seeking in Committee and in subsequent correspondence, and I am grateful to the hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras and other Opposition Members for agreeing to it. I am also grateful to Andy Burnham for his involvement in these important matters. I believe that we now have an amendment that will satisfy the concerns of all hon. Members and provide the robust safeguard that we were all looking for. The wording that the parliamentary draftsmen have come up with ties in the privacy provision that we debated in the last group of amendments and puts this matter right at the heart of the Bill. We now have a robust double lock that will maintain the important distinction between the Executive and the judiciary. As I have said, this is truly ground-breaking.

I shall speak to the other Government amendments as quickly as I can, to ensure that other hon. Members can be accommodated in the debate. New clauses 9 and 13 will deliver on our commitment to strengthen the safeguards around so-called thematic warrants—that is, those targeted warrants that apply to a group of suspects rather than to an individual. They will introduce a new requirement that major modifications to warrants—adding the name of a gang member, for example—must be notified to a judicial commissioner as well as to the Secretary of State.

Amendments 97 and 54 will strictly limit the operation of modifications, making it clear that a warrant targeted at a single suspect cannot be modified to expand its scope to target several suspects. This builds on the assurances that I gave in Committee, and the provision will now be on the face of the Bill, should the amendments be accepted. New clauses 8 and 12 make it clear that modifications that engage the Wilson doctrine or legal professional privilege should be subject to the full double-lock authorisation.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee

I am grateful to the Solicitor General for recognising the importance not only of the Wilson doctrine but of legal professional privilege. Would he accept that Government new clause 5 ought to be capable of embracing legal professional privilege within the overarching public interest in protecting privacy? Will he also continue to work with the Bar Council and the Law Society to ensure that we monitor the practical application of the protection of legal privilege in these matters?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I am extremely grateful to the Chairman of the Justice Committee, who speaks with knowledge and experience on such matters. He will be glad to know that Bar Council representatives, whom I recently met, have kindly undertaken to come up with further proposals by which the issues that took up so much time in Committee might be resolved. I will be meeting representatives of the Law Society this very week. It is perhaps a little unfortunate that those particular proposals were not crystallised prior to today’s debate, but there will of course be more time. If clear proposals come forward—I am sure that they will—they can be subject to full, proper scrutiny in the other place.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

Bluntly, I ask my hon. and learned Friend to ensure that proposals come forward whether or not the Law Society comes up with any. The erosion of legal professional privilege without any recourse to this House is the single biggest erosion of liberty in this country over the past decade and a half. If the Bill is to meet its requirements, it is vital that such reforms are found.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

My right hon. Friend speaks with passion and sincere conviction on such matters. He will be glad to know that, unlike in RIPA 2000, legal professional privilege is on the face of the Bill, which is a significant improvement over previous legislation. I reassure him that the provisions in the Bill that already embrace the importance of legal professional privilege have in large measure been warmly welcomed. The question is one of getting the detail right with particular regard to those occurrences, albeit rare, when the iniquity exemption—when people are pursuing a crime, which is not covered by legal professional privilege—applies and which might come under the purview of any warrantry that is sought under the Bill’s provisions.

However, I am certainly not leaving the proposals to other agencies. I am working as hard as I can with expert bodies that have great interest and knowledge and, like my right hon. Friend, recognise the overwhelming public importance of the preservation of legal professional privilege. I am glad to say that that dialogue will continue and will allow for meaningful scrutiny and debate in the other place.

Turning to the Wilson doctrine, clause 24 of the Bill currently requires the Prime Minister to be consulted before a targeted interception or targeted examination warrant can be issued in respect of such communications. Amendments 53 and 90 will strengthen that by making it clear that the Prime Minister must agree to the interception of the parliamentarian’s communications, rather than simply be consulted.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

Has my hon. and learned Friend noticed my amendment 1, in which I introduce the extra safeguard that the Speaker should be consulted?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

My hon. Friend has tabled that amendment in the spirit of his speech on Second Reading, which referred to the role of the Speaker. I look forward to hearing any argument that he pursues on this matter. While I can see the merit in seeking to protect the privileges of parliamentarians through the office of the Speaker, my concern is that involving the Speaker in approving a particular warrantry process or not puts us at risk of confusing Executive action with the roles of this place and of the Speaker in terms of the legislature.

The Prime Minister will be accountable to hon. Members for any decision that he or she may take on warrantry through the normal process of questions, statements or being summoned to this House following an urgent question. The procedure in relation to any decision that the Speaker might make is more difficult—the mechanism might be a point of order. However, I am unsure whether that sort of challenge to the Chair would sit well with the role of the Speaker and the position of parliamentarians. There are difficulties in involving the Speaker.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

Unfortunately, I am afraid that I can give my hon. and learned Friend evidence of his account of accountability not working. When the case of Caroline Lucas, who is a past, and no doubt future, leader of the Green party, went to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the Government lawyer’s stance was that it was not a legally binding constraint on the agencies. When I put that point to the Prime Minister, he was unable to answer. It is normally the case with the Wilson doctrine that the answer comes many years later, so an argument about accountability does not stand up here.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

With respect to my right hon. Friend, I think it does, because we are putting in the Bill the Prime Minister’s role in approving the warrant; what we have for the first time is a very important statutory protection. Again, let us not forget the progress we have made in getting to the position we are in today. A few years ago, some of these conventions and operations were not even avowed, although that is not the case with the Wilson doctrine. Let us pause for a moment to remember what that doctrine is all about, which is making sure that hon. Members can carry out their public functions as office holders in a free and proper way, subject to the same laws as everybody else in this country—equality before the law applies to Members of this place as much as it does to other members of the public. I am sure that debate will be developed as we hear from speakers on this group.

On technical capability notices and national security notices, we have been very clear throughout this process that we will work closely with industry to ensure that the Bill provides the strongest protections to those who may be subject to obligations under this legislation. In Committee, we heard concerns that these notices were not subject to the same strict safeguards as the authorisations of warrants. We have listened to those concerns and responded with new clause 10, which applies the full double lock to the issue of notices under part 9 of the Bill. Following further engagement with industry, we have taken steps to address further concerns, and so amendment 86 will make it clear that national security notices cannot require companies to remove encryption; amendment 87 makes it clear that national security notices will not subject companies to conflicting obligations in law; and amendments 45, 70 to 73 and 122 make it clear that warrants must be served in an appropriate manner to a person who is capable of giving effect to it. That deals with the problems that companies with an international dimension have if these things are served to an inappropriate employee—somebody who does not have the power to deal with the warrant.

We have also tabled a number of minor and technical amendments, many of which respond directly to issues raised by the Opposition and by the SNP in Committee. Others, such as amendments 92 and 126, provide important clarification on issues relating to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner in Scotland.

These important changes reflect this Government’s willingness to listen to suggestions that will improve this vital piece of legislation. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Security will respond to other amendments when winding up. In the meantime, I look forward to another informed and wide-ranging debate.

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

Labour has taken a responsible and pragmatic approach to this Bill. We have supported the principle of a modern legal framework governing the use of investigatory powers, recognising that as communications have migrated online, the police and security services have lost capability, but equally, we know that much stronger safeguards are needed in law to protect individuals from the abuse of state power. That is the balance we have been trying to achieve.

Following Second Reading, I wrote to the Home Secretary setting out Labour’s seven substantial areas of concern, and I said that unless there was significant movement from the Government in those areas, we would be unable to support moves to put this Bill on the statute book by the December deadline. The group of amendments before us covers three of those seven issues: the double-lock process and the test to be applied by judicial commissioners; the protections for sensitive professions; and the position of trade unions with respect to this Bill. I will discuss each of those issues in turn, but I start by raising an issue that emerged in Committee.

My hon. and learned Friend Keir Starmer, the shadow Immigration Minister, identified a potential loophole that allowed warrants to be modified after initial approval without proper scrutiny by judicial commissioners, thereby undermining the double lock. The Government have part-closed this loophole for sensitive professions, but we feel they need to go further and close it for everyone, to ensure that people cannot be added to thematic warrants by modification without the involvement of a judge. I hope that Ministers will listen to that concern and reassure us that they are open to further discussion.

I know that the judicial review test and the double lock have been discussed today, so I will not detain the House long. As Members on both sides of the House know, one of our earliest demands was that there should be independent judicial oversight of the approval of warrants, and we were pleased when the Home Secretary conceded that point some months ago. Labour has always believed that the judicial commissioner must be able to consider the substance of the Home Secretary’s decision to issue a warrant, not just the process. Put simply, it must be a double lock, not a rubber stamp.

My hon. and learned Friend has done painstaking work on this issue in Committee and outside, and we thank in particular the Minister for Security for his willingness to listen to our concerns and for the manuscript amendment tabled today by the Home Secretary. It accepts the spirit of the proposals we tabled in Committee by ensuring that judicial commissioners will have to take into account their duties under the overarching privacy clause when reviewing the Home Secretary’s decision to grant a warrant. Judicial commissioners’ decisions must therefore be taken in line with human rights concerns. They must consider whether the same result could have been achieved by other means, and whether public interest concerns are met. In short, it will require much closer scrutiny of the initial decision of the Home Secretary and, significantly, bring greater clarity than the Government’s initial judicial review test would have done. We believe that that does indeed amount to a real double lock and, I have to say, a real victory for the Opposition. I confirm that we will support the Government’s amendment tonight.

When we talk about protections for sensitive professions —lawyers, journalists and Members of Parliament—it might sound to anyone watching this debate as though we in this House were once again seeking special status for ourselves in the eyes of the law. That is why it is important that I emphasise that these are not special privileges or protections for Members of Parliament, but protections for members of the public. If someone seeks the help of an MP at a constituency advice surgery or of a lawyer, or blows the whistle to a journalist, they should be able to do so with a high degree of confidence that the conversation is confidential.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that a point we need to make is that the privilege is not that of the lawyer, but that of the client? It is therefore entirely proper for us to emphasise that particular care should be taken when dealing with privilege, which is attracted to the client. It is not ourselves as lawyers or as Members of Parliament that we put in a privileged position; it is the person who comes to seek advice who has to have protection.

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

The hon. Gentleman makes a tremendously important point very well. This is about a basic protection for the public—a safeguard for the public. Also, on MPs and the Wilson doctrine, it is also a protection for our democracy that people can seek the advice of a Member of Parliament without fearing that someone else is listening. The hon. Gentleman is spot on, but I have to say that we do not feel that the Bill as it stands provides sufficient reassurance to the public that that confidentiality will be mostly respected. To be fair, the Government have moved on this point, but we believe that further work is needed, and that they need to continue to talk to the professional representative bodies. I will take each group in turn, starting with MPs.

We believe that the Bill is the right place to codify the thrust of the Wilson doctrine, but in our letter to the Home Secretary we expressed concern that the Bill required only that the Prime Minister be consulted before investigatory powers were used against MPs. We argued that the Prime Minister should personally be asked to approve any such action, and we are pleased that the Government have accepted this. I note that the Joint Committee on Human Rights, chaired by my right hon. and learned Friend Ms Harman, has proposed a further strengthening of the doctrine and a role for the Speaker, who should be notified and able to challenge a decision on intercepting the communications of a Member of Parliament. We have not yet taken a view on that proposal. It is right to debate it as the Bill progresses to the Lords, and perhaps we can return to it later.

Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs) 9:00 pm, 6th June 2016

Bearing in mind that the protection is for parliamentarians across these islands, does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the Presiding Officers in the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Welsh Assembly would have to be involved, not just the Speaker in this House?

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

That is a fair point, and the amendment tabled by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Camberwell and Peckham seeks to ensure that. Perhaps this is an issue that the Government need to think about. Of course the provisions should apply to Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The point made by Joanna Cherry should be accepted.

On journalists and journalistic sources, we welcome the fact that the Government have moved to put protections originally in the codes underpinning the Bill into the measure itself. We note, however, that the National Union of Journalists believes that wider protections are still needed, and the Government should continue to work with it to get that right.

Finally, on legal privilege there has been the least progress of all. Serious concerns have been expressed by the Bar Council and the Law Society about the fact that the provisions would weaken privacy protections currently enjoyed by lawyers, but those concerns are not adequately reflected in the Bill. It is disappointing that Ministers have yet to meet the legal bodies. [Interruption.] I did not quite hear what the Solicitor General said. I am happy to give way if he wants to clarify the position.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I have met the Bar Council, and I am meeting the Law Society on Wednesday, so I can assure him that there is engagement.

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

My mistake; I did hear the Solicitor General say that he was meeting those bodies this week. It is a little disappointing—I am not making a petty point—as we wish we could have made more progress before this debate. As Mr Davis said, this is extremely important, and our debates would be improved if there had been more progress in this area. Nevertheless, it is clear that this is firmly on the Solicitor General’s radar, and the excellent points made by Robert Neill show that there is concern in all parts of the House about moving further to get this right. In the absence of acceptable Government amendments, amendments 139 to 141 tabled by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Camberwell and Peckham are a step in the right direction. If amendments were forthcoming from the Government, we would certainly support them.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

This point has just occurred to me, looking at the exchange of letters between Front-Bench spokespeople on bulk collection. What the right hon. Gentleman has been saying about privilege, whether legal, parliamentary or journalistic, applies only to targeted interception, but a great deal of bulk interception is shared with our allies, the National Security Agency, and there is no carve-out for any of the protections that he has discussed. I can think of circumstances in which lawyers might be targeted by the NSA because their clients are suspects—or, indeed, irritating Members of Parliament might be targeted; I am thinking of the right hon. Gentleman. In the discussions between the Front-Bench spokespeople, when the bulk collection inquiry is progressed, that should be picked up, so that the issue is dealt with.

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

I do not know whether that was a compliment, but I will take it as such. The right hon. Gentleman raises an important point. To be fair to the Government, there has been movement on thematic warrants: if an MP or a journalist was to be added to a thematic warrant, there would be a judicial oversight process. The right hon. Gentleman mentions taking that principle even further and relating it to bulk data. I think that David Anderson would need to consider how practically possible that would be, but the right hon. Gentleman’s point needs to be considered.

Labour amendment 262 relates to trade unions and would amend clause 18 to ensure, in statute, that undertaking legitimate trade union activities is never in future a reason for the security services or police using investigatory powers. In recent times, we have been shining a light on this country’s past and learning more about how we have been governed and policed. Revelations about Bloody Sunday, Hillsborough, phone hacking, child sexual exploitation and other matters have all in different ways shaken people’s faith in the institutions that are there to protect us. They raise profound questions about the relationship between the state and the individual. Confronted with those uncomfortable truths about abuses of power, this House needs to provide a proper response and legislate to prevent them in the future. We need to redress the balance in favour of ordinary people and away from the Executive.

Photo of Steve Rotheram Steve Rotheram Labour, Liverpool, Walton

Will my right hon. Friend join me in paying tribute to Unite, the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians and the GMB, which fought a long campaign to raise the scandal of the illegal blacklisting and secret vetting of construction workers? Can he assure the House that such a gross injustice could not be perpetrated against innocent workers again, and that his amendment would provide an absolute guarantee that legitimate trade union activities would be excluded from monitoring by the security services and the police?

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

I will indeed pay tribute to Unite, GMB and UCATT, which, in the past couple of months, have reached out-of-court settlements on blacklisting—a major and historic victory on their part. I will come on to explain the prime concern behind the Opposition’s amendment, and the case that most justifies our bringing it forward.

In the past, the actions of some in senior positions in politics and in the police have unfairly tarnished the reputation of today’s services and today’s policemen and women. That is precisely why it is crucial that we continue to open up on the past. Transparency is the best way of preventing lingering suspicions about past conduct from contaminating trust in today’s services, and it will help us to create a modern legal framework that better protects our essential freedoms, human rights and privacy.

One such freedom essential to the health of our democracy is trade union activity. Historically, trade unions have played a crucial role in protecting ordinary people from the abuses of Governments and mighty corporations. It is that crucial role, and the freedom of every citizen in this land to benefit from that protection, that amendment 262 seeks to enshrine in law. There will be those who claim that it is unnecessary and the product of conspiracy theorists, but I have received confirmation from the security services that, in the past—under Governments of both colours, it has to be said—trade unions have indeed been monitored. In the cold war, there may well have been grounds for fears that British trade unions were being infiltrated by foreign powers trying to subvert our democracy. That helps to explain the wariness of many Labour Members about legislation of this kind. Outside the security services, it seems that some activity went way beyond that. There is clear evidence that such monitoring was used for unjustified political and commercial reasons, breaching privacy and basic human rights. I mentioned the case of the Shrewsbury 24 on Second Reading, and I remain of the view that that is an outstanding injustice that needs to be settled.

As my hon. Friend Steve Rotheram anticipated, however, I want tonight to focus on the blacklisting of construction workers, which clearly illustrates the necessity of the amendment we have tabled. We have seen the settlement of claims, as I have mentioned, against companies such as Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Costain, Keir, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci. It has now been proven that those companies subscribed to central lists of workers that contained information on their political views and trade union activities. Those lists were used to vet people and deny them work. That affected the livelihoods of hundreds of people, and it was an outrageous denial of their basic human rights.

By seeking an out-of-court settlement, it would seem that the companies concerned are trying to limit reputational damage, but I do not think that the matter can be allowed to rest there. We need to understand how covertly gained police information came into the hands of a shady organisation called the Consulting Association, which compiled and managed the blacklist.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the remit of the Pitchford inquiry, which has been set up to look into the use of undercover policing, really needs to be extended to cover what went on in Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom or we will never get the full truth of this?

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

That is certainly one way of addressing the concerns that I am putting on record tonight, but another would be to have a separate inquiry into blacklisting per se. Not only was it outrageous, but it is still largely not known about. Most people outside trade union circles do not know that it happened. That is why, by one means or another, there needs to be a process of inquiry about it.

We would not know about the practice were it not for the outstanding work of the Blacklist Support Group and individuals such as Dave Smith who have exposed how much of the information held on individuals appeared to emanate from police sources. For instance, the files hold detailed descriptions of the movements of a number of people at the June 1999 demonstration “Carnival Against Capital”. As a Guardian article by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain pointed out, it seems highly unlikely that that intelligence was the product of a site manager who just happened to be passing through London on that day.

The Blacklist Support Group referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2012. I want to put on record what it found, because it is pretty shocking. Having looked into the concerns, the IPCC wrote in a letter to the Blacklist Support Group:

“The scoping also identified that it was likely that all Special Branches were involved in providing information about potential employees who were suspected of being involved in subversive activity.”

All special branches were likely to have given information that was used to compile the blacklist.

Photo of Steve Rotheram Steve Rotheram Labour, Liverpool, Walton

May I expand on the point that my right hon. Friend is making? Perhaps some people outside the Chamber will not understand what subversive activities were. In those days, subversive activities included complaining about health and safety because a person was dying on a building site every single day. Does my right hon. Friend agree that that is hardly subversive activity?

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Those were people who were trying to protect their workmates and colleagues. An individual who protested outside Fiddler’s Ferry power station near us in the north-west was trying to safeguard people’s safety at work, but they were subjected to this outrageous abuse of their rights.

Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

My right hon. Friend is making a very powerful case. I do not know whether he is aware of this, but when the issue first arose during the last Parliament, I took it up with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to ask whether there was any involvement on the part of the Metropolitan police. I got a letter back not from the commissioner himself, but from a senior member of his staff, who now works for one of the agencies, flatly denying that there was any such involvement. Something was happening, as the excerpt my right hon. Friend has read out shows, yet even as recently as three or four years ago, the Metropolitan police utterly denied it.

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary 9:15 pm, 6th June 2016

I agree with my right hon. Friend. It is quite clear that “all Special Branches” provided information. There it is in the letter from the IPCC in 2013. I do not think that its pretty astounding confirmation has been properly followed up. As I said in response to Mr Carmichael, people have a right to know what information was passed by whom in the police service, who sanctioned the passing of that information to such organisations and the policy under which passing that information was justified.

This is yet another scandal from our country’s past, in which it seems that the establishment rode roughshod over the rights of ordinary people. I pay tribute to the Home Secretary for the courage she has shown in facing up to our past, but the evidence trail has not yet reached its end. This process must continue: we must continue to go wherever the evidence takes us. Such evidence is now taking us to blacklisting and, of course, to Orgreave and its aftermath. In my view, the case for inquiries into both is unanswerable. I again call on the Government to initiate those inquiries so that people can have the truth.

For tonight, we call on the Government to accept Labour’s amendment to provide protection in law for legitimate trade union activity. Had that provision been in place years ago, it could have prevented the abuses that we saw with the blacklisting of workers. If it could be agreed, such an historic move would give some recognition to the long and proud campaign for fairness in the eyes of the law that has been fought by trade unionists. It would also show a real willingness on the part of the Government to create a modern law that is as much about protecting the rights of the working person as it is about keeping us safe in the 21st century.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

I rise to speak to my amendment 1, which is, in clause 24, page 19, line 8, at the end to insert where the subject of the snooping, frankly, is a Member of the House of Commons, that snooping must also involve a consultation with the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Member’s explanatory statement helpfully says:

“This amendment would require the Secretary of State to consult the Speaker before deciding to issue a warrant that applied to an MP’s communications.”

This is a small, but I believe important amendment. It is of course perfectly proper and pertinent that, as we all agree, the Secretary of State consults the Prime Minister before deciding to issue a targeted interception or examination warrant regarding an MP’s communication with a constituent or somebody else. We all understand that, and it is not controversial. However, the Prime Minister is the Queen’s chief Minister of Government and is, by its very nature, a political office holder. It goes without saying that we have complete confidence in the present Prime Minister that no such thing would happen, but we must not make permanent laws based on impermanent situations. Our conscientious Prime Minister, who I am sure is both aware of and respectful of parliamentary privilege, may be succeeded, somewhere down the line, by a man or woman who does not esteem the dearly won privileges of this House. They are not our privileges: they are not for us; they are for the protection of our democracy and of our constituents.

It may be that a future Prime Minister would be under intolerable pressure during a time of national crisis. It is not difficult to imagine that circumstances may come into play in which a future Prime Minister authorises a politically sensitive or even a politically motivated interception against an Opposition Member, or indeed against a Government Member if that Member of Parliament is opposed to the Prime Minister’s policies. We need only think of the intense debates that took place during the Vietnam war and the Iraq war. We remember that the present Leader of the Opposition had strong views about the importance of communicating with Sinn Féin at a time when that was considered intensely controversial—indeed, some at the time would have argued that it was a threat to national security. I am not defending the actions of the present Leader of the Opposition, or making any comment on them one way or another, but one can surely imagine that there may be future situations when there is intense debate on a matter of national security and a Prime Minister may be politically motivated to intercept communications between a constituent and a Member of Parliament.

I believe that it is important to uphold the exclusive cognisance of this House to regulate its own internal affairs, apart from the Government. This House is not the Government but the scrutineer of Government. To reply directly to the point the Solicitor General made, the amendment does not put MPs above the law—far from it. Our conduct is completely within the jurisdiction of normal criminal courts, and the criminal law applies to us as to anyone else. But it is vital that communications relating to our role—only to our role and to no other part of our life—as democratically elected representatives of the people, in a free country, under the Crown, be protected from Government observation and interference, just as it is vital to remove any temptation to politicise the work of the police.

Amendment 1 would solve that problem, by invoking the importance of the Speaker, an impartial office holder not beholden to any political party or indeed to the Government. You will be aware, Madam Deputy Speaker, that the office of Speaker is among the most important in the land. It ranks above all non-royal people in this realm, excepting the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord President of the Council. The Speaker is endowed with his or her office by the trust placed in him by fellow Members of Parliament, and his impartiality is central to the proper functioning of Parliament. Once he has held the office of Speaker, never again can he re-enter politics—that is a clear convention of this House. He is utterly and completely impartial.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire

I have a great deal of sympathy for what my hon. Friend has to say, but does he share my concern that the Speaker might be seen as a rather in-house arbiter in these matters? In recent times we have seen where that leads us. Does my hon. Friend not have more confidence in the double-lock arrangement that the Front-Bench team has rightly instituted?

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

I am perfectly happy—I think everyone in this House is—with the proposal that if the Secretary of State for the Home Department wishes to investigate communications with a Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister should always also be consulted. No one objects to that. But who appoints the Home Secretary? The Prime Minister does. They are both politicians—by their very nature, they are political animals—and members of the Executive. I have to ask my hon. Friends to look beyond the present situation; they may indeed have the utmost confidence in the present Secretary of State for the Home Department and the present Prime Minister, but they should always separate their view of those currently on the Front Bench from what might happen in the future.

All I am asking is that if the Government are taking the extreme step of intercepting communications between constituents and Members of Parliament, someone entirely non-political, namely the Speaker, should also be consulted. This is the point: he is no mere presiding officer. We do not call him “the presiding officer”, as is the case in other Assemblies and Parliaments. He is the upholder of order and the defender of the House’s privileges and immunities. I am absolutely not suggesting that he should be dragged into politics. But there is already a precedent. Have we not involved the Speaker very recently in consideration of whether amendments should be separately considered under English votes for English laws? Nobody—certainly not the Government—has suggested that that is dragging the Speaker into politics.

I am a member of the Procedure Committee, and we examined this issue in great detail. The system—I am not defending EVEL as that is not the subject of today’s debate—seems to be working fairly well. Nobody is calling the Speaker to order or complaining about his decision, but there is in a sense a double lock that seems to work quite well.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

My hon. Friend makes a proper point about the Speaker’s role in English votes for English laws, and there are other certification procedures that he, I, and others know about. There is a difference, however, because that relates to the legislative process in this House, and it deals precisely with the point about exclusive cognisance and the privileges of this House in dealing with its own rules and regulations. There is therefore a difference between the points that my hon. Friend raises and involvement in an Executive decision.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

There may be a difference, but I do not think it is a substantive one. [Interruption.] I am delighted that you are now sitting in the Chair, Mr Speaker, because I am talking about you, which I know you always enjoy me doing.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

Surely one key point is that there would be an inhibition on a Secretary of State or a Prime Minister in the process of approaching the Speaker. They may not be inhibited about talking to each other about an uncomfortable Opposition Member, or indeed an uncomfortable Government Member, but they would be inhibited about approaching the Speaker. That is not separate to what goes on in the House. The one case that we have had was that of my right hon. Friend Damian Green, when there was an approach to the Speaker of the day, which I am afraid ended in tears.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

Exactly. It is an inhibition, and I presume that the Home Secretary and Prime Minister would take that extreme step only because they were convinced that this was a matter of national security. Before they took such a step, which we all agree is serious, would it do any harm to consult somebody who is obviously completely separated from politics?

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Conservative, Cheltenham

Is there an issue of accountability here? If the judgment is wrong, would it not be extremely regrettable for the Speaker to be dragged into the court of public opinion as someone who got that judgment wrong, as opposed to the Executive or the Prime Minister who could properly be hauled through the courts?

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

I understand that example, but it can be taken to extremes. Every day of the week the Speaker makes decisions. He decides how we conduct our business and who should be called, and we could always argue that we should not give the Speaker more powers because he might make a mistake or be called to account. We are not talking about the Speaker being involved in whether we should pass a particular Bill or controversy; we are talking about a very narrow circumstance in which the Government of the day have decided to intercept the communications of a Member of Parliament. All I am suggesting is that before they take that step, they consult the Speaker.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

There are few Members of this House whom I hold in higher regard than I do my hon. Friend, but like it or not, his proposal would draw the Speaker into issues of national security. He is describing highly sensitive matters of a kind that Speakers have not historically been involved in. It would be a radical change.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

The Minister makes that point, but as Members of Parliament we should try to think outside the political box and our natural loyalties, and just for a moment think about what might happen in future in a time of crisis. Do we really want to codify the Wilson doctrine in legislation, and say that in future any Government—it does not matter that the Prime Minister ticks a box, because he is also a member of the Government—without any independent second guessing, can intercept those communications and act on them? I understand the Minister’s arguments and assure him that I am not trying to drag the Speaker into politics. I am trying only to protect the traditional privileges of the House. “Privileges” is the wrong word, because it conveys the impression that we are concerned about ourselves. We are not important in all this. What is important is people’s confidence in communicating with their Member of Parliament.

Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley 9:30 pm, 6th June 2016

The difficulty with the hon. Gentleman’s argument is that he assumes that the Prime Minister of the day, regardless of which party he is in, would take such a decision in a vacuum, but it simply could not happen that way. He would have to be satisfied first with proper legal advice that it is in the interests of national security. Secondly, he would have to be satisfied that it is both necessary and proportionate. Passing all those tests requires a lot of advice, and I doubt that any Prime Minister would take the decision lightly. Bringing any Speaker into that decision-making process means that they must be linked to that legal and security advice to satisfy themselves in the same way as the Prime Minister would have to do. I therefore cannot see the difference.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

I can see what the difference would be in a time of national crisis. The information will be clearly set out by the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister. I do not believe that it would be beyond the abilities of any Speaker now or in future to take an informed decision and to be convinced by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary that the interception was not a political interference but a matter of national security.

All hon. Members agree on that—that the communications can be intercepted if it is a matter of national security—and we all agree that they should not be intercepted because it is politically expedient to do so. All I am asking is that the Speaker, who by the nature of his office does not consider political expediency, can say, “Yes. This is a matter of national security.” I do not believe that that is beyond his abilities. After all, he is ably assisted—is he not?—by the Clerk of the House and a band of parliamentary Clerks, most of whom have spent years accumulating knowledge, wisdom and experience of the ways of the House. They are not radicals or people who will take decisions lightly or wantonly. Together, they form a deposit of institutional memory, which the Prime Minister and No. 10, by the nature of their daily tasks of government and political management, can never be. They must always, necessarily, take a short-term view. That is not a criticism but the nature of the office.

Each of the privileges of this House, in addition to being daily fought for and won over the centuries, exists for a reason. Like many traditions and customs, we interfere with them at our peril. I appeal to the Minister of State, who is deeply aware of the importance of traditions and customs. We may wonder today why this or that one exists, but if we disregard them, we will soon find that the dangers they protect us from are very real.

We also may doubt the day will ever come when a Prime Minister would dare to authorise the monitoring of Members’ communications for politicised reasons, but it is therefore better to remove even the possibility of that temptation existing by simply requiring the Secretary of State to consult the Speaker. It has been said before but it is worth saying again. Nearly 375 years ago, William Lenthall reminded the sovereign that the Speaker had

“neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here.”

All I am asking in amendment 1 is that that tradition be maintained. We would do well to continue to put our trust in that defender of our law and our liberties.

Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs)

The Scottish National party has tabled a significant number of amendments to parts 2 and 5, and chapter 1 of part 9, which are under discussion, but given the constraints of time I will focus my fire on only a few of them, and mainly on part 2 and the system of judicial warrantry.

The Government have put their new double-lock system of warrantry at the heart of their arguments that there are sufficient safeguards in the Bill. In the SNP, we believe that the system of warrantry is too limited in scope and seriously deficient. We have tabled extensive amendments to extend the system of judicial warrantry beyond part 2, so that it would cover warrants to obtain, retain and examine communications data and police hacking warrants. We think the nature and scope of those warrants, and the grounds on which they are granted, are very important.

Amendments 267, 268, 272 and 306 to clause 15 deal with the scope of warrants. The problem with clause 15 as currently drafted is that it permits warrants to be issued in respect of people whose names are not known or knowable when the warrant is sought. This is confirmed by clause 27, which provides that a thematic warrant must describe the relevant purpose or activity and that it must

“name or describe as many of those persons as is reasonably practicable”.

Our amendments would retain the capacity of a single warrant to permit the interception of multiple individuals, but require an identifiable subject matter or premises to be provided. We have tabled associated amendments to clause 27. Taken together, they would narrow the current provisions, which effectively permit a limitless number of unidentified individuals to have their communications intercepted.

It is not just the SNP who are concerned about the scope of the thematic warrants. We heard evidence in Committee from Sir Stanley Burnton, the interception of communications commissioner, and from Lord Judge, the chief surveillance commissioner. Both expressed detailed concerns about the breadth of clause 15 as currently drafted. They said it was too wide and needed to be more focused. David Anderson QC, although in favour of thematic warrants, said that clause 15 as currently drafted is “considerably more permissive” than he had envisaged. There we have three very distinguished experts working in this field underlining the necessity of the amendments.

That is a real concern, because it takes us back to our old friend, or in our case our old enemy, bulk powers. If we create thematic warrants, communications intercepted under bulk powers can be trawled through thematically to look for groups of people sharing a common purpose or carrying out a particular activity. One difficulty with that is that it provides for an open-ended warrant that could encompass many hundreds or thousands of people. That is just not right. It is suspicionless interference. It is not targeted and it is not focused. I urge hon. Members on both sides of the House, if they are concerned about supporting an SNP amendment, to comfort themselves with the fact that it is an amendment the necessity of which has been underlined by persons as distinguished as the Interception of Communications Commissioner, the Chief Surveillance Commissioner and the independent reviewer of terrorism.

I now turn to the grounds, set out in clause 18, on which warrants may be granted, and to SNP amendments 212 and 213. The purpose of the amendments is to remove the economic wellbeing of the UK as a separate purpose for granting a warrant and to require that grounds for interception are tied to a threshold of reasonable suspicion of criminal behaviour. We have tabled similar amendments to the grounds for seeking warrants in relation to communications data under parts 3 and 4, and hacking under part 5. If these amendments are not allowed, people simply will not be able to predict when surveillance powers may be used against them, because the discretion granted to the Secretary of State is so broad as to be arbitrary.

The Joint Committee on the draft Bill recommended that the Bill include a definition of national security, which, of course, is the first ground. I call on the Government, not for the first time, to produce an amendment that defines national security. The Bill is sprinkled liberally with the phrase “national security”. The Government need to tell us what they mean by that phrase, so I call on them to define it. This is not just theoretical or, as Simon Hoare called it, merely a law faculty debate; it is a serious issue about language being precise so that there can be some predictability. In the past, the courts have responded with considerable deference to Government claims of national security; they view them not so much as matters of law but as Executive-led policy judgments. As a legal test, therefore, “national security”, on its own, is meaningless unless the Government attempt to tell us what they mean by it.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire

I am listening with great interest to the hon. and learned Lady. She will be aware that the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy has long been trying to define “national security” but has failed to come up with an answer. Will she not accept that the term must necessarily remain loose?

Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs)

No, I do not accept that. As I say, the phrase is sprinkled throughout the Bill to justify very broad and intrusive powers, and it is incumbent on the Government to explain what they mean by it. We have heard powerful speeches and interventions from Labour Members about how these loose phrases can sometimes be misinterpreted to enable individuals who have done absolutely nothing wrong, such as trade unionists going about their lawful business, to have their livelihoods and communications interfered with. So if the Government want these powers, they have to define the grounds on which they can be exercised.

That takes me to economic wellbeing. The Joint Committee on the Bill said that economic wellbeing should be defined, but the Intelligence and Security Committee went further and said that it should be subsumed within the national security definition and that otherwise it was “unnecessarily confusing and complicated”. It was basically saying that if economic harm to the wellbeing of the UK was so serious that it amounted to a threat to national security, it would be covered by clause 18(2)(a). That was the point the ISC made. We do not need a separate category.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield

I intend to touch on this briefly when I speak. It is right to point out that, after making that recommendation, the Committee had the opportunity to hear considerable further evidence provided by the Government, and as a result we were unanimously persuaded that keeping “economic wellbeing” as a separate category was justified. I will amplify my remarks when I speak later, but that was the conclusion we reached.

Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs)

I do not wish to quibble with the right hon. and learned Gentleman’s conclusion, but unfortunately the rest of us have not been favoured with the basis on which he and his Committee reached it. I am yet to be convinced that the “economic wellbeing” ground is a stand-alone ground that cannot be subsumed within “national security”. If the Government can convince me otherwise, or want to try, I will listen, but I have yet to be convinced, despite having sat through many days of the Bill Committee.

Another problem with the grounds relates to the lack of any “reasonable suspicion” threshold. This recurs throughout the Bill. Our amendments would insert such a requirement. At present, intrusive powers can be authorised to prevent and detect serious crime and, in the case of communications data, even just to collect tax, prevent disorder or in the interests of public safety. These general purposes, however, are left wide open to broad interpretation and abuse if one does not also require a threshold of suspicion. A requirement of reasonable suspicion, when one invokes the purpose of preventing and detecting serous crime, would have the benefit of preventing the abusive surveillance of campaigners, unionists and victims by undercover police; police surveillance of journalists’ lawful activities; and surveillance by the agencies of law-abiding non-governmental organisations and MPs. This is not fanciful. We have seen law-abiding NGOs and MPs having their correspondence and activities interfered with in recent times, so these are not just theoretical examples.

The “reasonable suspicion” threshold was recently held to be necessary by the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning the Russian interception regime, Zakharov v. Russia, with which many hon. Members will be familiar. The Solicitor General will try to make a distinction—if we had time, we could argue about that—but there is a widely held view that the standard set by the ECHR in that case is not met by the grounds in clause 18. I therefore urge fellow hon. Members to support our amendment to clause 18 to ensure that the United Kingdom’s investigatory powers regime meets international human rights standards.

It will be clear from what I have said already that the SNP very much shares Labour’s concerns about the monitoring of legitimate trade union activity. I understand that the Home Secretary has acknowledged those concerns and given some sort of assurance to the shadow Home Secretary. However, like Labour, the SNP will require an amendment to make that absolutely clear on the face of the Bill. If Labour Members want to push their amendment to a vote this evening, we will support it.

I am conscious of the time, so I want next to look briefly at judicial review. We have talked about that quite a bit already today. I accept that the Government’s manuscript amendment is an improvement, but in my respectful argument it does not go far enough, and that is because of something I said earlier today. All of us in this Chamber who have practised law and advised clients about judicial review know that key to doing so is knowing what the reasons were for the original decision, and there is absolutely nothing in the Bill requiring the Secretary of State to give any reasons for her or his decision to issue a warrant. Interestingly, clause 21(4) requires the judicial commissioner to give his or her reasons, but the Secretary of State is not required to give reasons. As long as it remains a judicial review standard, I do not see what it is that the judicial commissioner is reviewing, in the absence of reasons for the original decision.

Mr Davis made the point earlier that the Home Secretary signs many of these warrants—sometimes up to 10 a day. I feel for her in that she should have to issue reasons for them, but the fact that we are talking about judicial review of a decision for which reasons are not required underlines the inadequacy of what is currently proposed.

Briefly, clause 24 relates to parliamentarians and their protection. We heard an eloquent speech from Sir Edward Leigh about his suggestion that the Speaker should oversee the process in some way. I have already commented that, as envisaged under the amendments tabled by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, it should be the Presiding Officers in the case of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Parliaments. The SNP suggest, in our new clause 23, that a targeted examination warrant relating to a parliamentarian should bypass the politicians completely and be granted only by a judicial commissioner, and we have tabled similar amendments to part 5.

The reason for that is to preserve the Wilson doctrine and depoliticise the process. It is illogical to suggest that an adequate replacement to the previous, complete prohibition on surveillance of politicians is to have a clause that expressly allows surveillance of politicians, only requiring the Secretary of State to consult the Prime Minister prior to authorising interception or hacking. It completely undermines the Wilson doctrine, therefore we cannot support it and would urge the Government to look at our suggestion that it should be a judicial commissioner who authorises warrants to interfere with the communications and the equipment of parliamentarians.

Before I sit down, let me turn briefly to legal professional privilege. I add my voice to the concerns already expressed about the inadequacy of what is in the Bill. It is not just the Bar Council and the Law Society of England and Wales that are worried about this; the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates have also made representations. Government Members may curl their lips, but legal professional privilege is not there to protect lawyers, just as parliamentary privilege is not there to protect politicians. It is there to protect people who consult lawyers, and those people are our constituents. There is a longstanding convention in England and Scotland that legal communications are privileged, save for the iniquity exception. That is not reflected in the Bill and it needs to be.

There are many more amendments that I would like to speak to, but I am not going to, in recognition of the fact that others deserve time to speak. I would simply say again that the Scottish National party considers the time afforded to debate the many amendments tabled to this serious and far-reaching Bill to be wholly inadequate, and there are many people beyond this Chamber who also take that view.

Photo of Stephen McPartland Stephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage 9:45 pm, 6th June 2016

I shall speak to four different sets of amendments. As I said earlier, it is a difficult Bill to support, but I acknowledge the work that Ministers and the Government have done in trying to work with Government Members and Opposition Members to produce a Bill with which we can all begin to start to feel comfortable. I am not a lawyer, but amendments 147 to 152, which stand in my name, are designed to leave out clauses that provide for the modification of warrants. In my view as a non-lawyer, these changes seem, through a major modification, to have the potential to change the key components of a warrant. I wonder at what stage a new warrant should be drafted instead. How far can the warrant be modified before it needs to become a new warrant? The warrant provisions seem to be very wide ranging and very ill defined.

The next set comprises amendments 178 to 186, which try to refine the matters to which targeted equipment interference warrants may relate by removing vague and overly broad categories, including equipment interference for training purposes. People outside this place may not be aware of it, but when we talk about “equipment interference”, we are basically talking about hacking devices that can hack into mobile phones, computers, e-mail systems, or the apps that people use for their banking. “Equipment interference” is a nice way of saying state-authorised hacking, which is what we are talking about here. To me, this is an incredibly intrusive power, permitting real-time surveillance, as well as access to everything we store on our digital devices, from text messages to address books, calendars and emails, along with the websites people visit, which apps they use and how they use them.

The Bill also seems to me to provide for thematic hacking warrants, which amount to general warrants to hack groups or types of individuals in the UK. Hacking is not restricted in the Bill to equipment belonging to, used by or in the possession of particular persons or organisations. Even the director of GCHQ has apparently raised concerns about the breadth of the current definitions, which could apply to the equipment of a hostile foreign intelligence service. We here might say, “So what? So be it. That’s what they’re there for”, but what would we say if those warrants allowed all employees and family members of a particular company or the people who visit a particular religious venue or who live in a particular road to be hacked? Would we still say, “So what? Should we be bothered?” This may sound unlikely, but the draft equipment interference code of practice permits the targeting of people who are “not of intelligence interest”. If that is not carte blanche, I do not know what is, because this is in effect allowing hacking the equipment of anybody anywhere in the UK or overseas, if the agencies choose to do so.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

I am entirely in agreement with my hon. Friend on this. He says that it might not involve hacking a whole street, but it could easily involve hacking two layers of contacts. If I call 100 people, and then the people called by those 100 people are investigated, that would be a very typical intelligence exercise, pursuing the two rings of contacts. That could involve 100,000 people, most of whom have nothing to hide but could become under permanent surveillance by the state.

Photo of Stephen McPartland Stephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage

I totally agree with my right hon. Friend’s point. As a Master of Science and Technology, I, of course, have never hacked anything in my life and would never dream of doing so, but it is not a particularly difficult thing to do at the moment. Many people do not appreciate that the measures in the Bill are authorising the state hacking of equipment. Combined with other measures in the Bill, this is not just about hacking the equipment of somebody who may be of particular interest as part of a terrorist organisation; we are talking about every man, woman and child with an electronic device inside the UK. That is where my concerns arise.

Photo of Suella Fernandes Suella Fernandes Conservative, Fareham

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that explanation of his amendment, but surely there are clear limits to the powers relating to equipment interference set out in clause 91. The action needs to be necessary, proportionate and in the interests of national security, so it is really not fair to say that this is a sweeping power to which any man, woman or child could be subjected.

Photo of Stephen McPartland Stephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her intervention, but the reality is that schedule 4 to the Bill will give a range of other organisations the ability to access this power if they choose to do so. For example, the Financial Conduct Authority could do so in circumstances relating to the stability of the markets. A whole variety of organisations will be able to use these powers, not just the intelligence services. Police services up and down the country already use equipment interference to target criminals, for example. A whole range of powers such as these is already being used. I appreciate that the Bill is trying to put them on a statutory footing, and I understand the need to keep people safe, but we have to balance this with resources. Let us remember 9/11 in the United States, when many different agencies and organisations had information but were not sharing it. I believe that we are getting ourselves into a situation in which we will have so much information on so many people that it will be of no value to us whatever. It will be like the internet: you can put anything in, and you get 3,000 pages back.

We need a stronger legal framework if we are going to authorise the state hacking of equipment in the United Kingdom. My amendments 187 and 188 simply seek to ensure that all targets of hacking are properly named or specified. We need a more specific legal framework. Amendments 173 to177 would eliminate the power of the Government to compel third parties to assist in carrying out equipment interference. As the Bill stands, this compelled assistance will not be subject to any judicial authorisation process. The relevant organisations will be able to turn up at a company and say, “We have this warrant, so you now have to help us to hack your devices.” The company will have no choice. Clause 114 contains strict non-disclosure provisions, which are effectively gagging orders that will prevent anyone from being able to say whether they have been involved in such procedures. The Science and Technology Committee documented widespread concerns regarding company compelled hacking and concluded that

“the industry case regarding public fear about ‘equipment interference’
is well founded.”

The draft equipment interference code of practice indicates that no company in the United Kingdom, no matter how small, is exempt from these obligations.

My amendments 196 to 205 are, like the rest, probing amendments to try to get these issues debated and to make people aware of them. They would provide that national security and technical capability notices be subject to a double-lock authorisation by the Secretary of State and the Investigatory Powers Commissioner. I appreciate that new clause 10 and other Government amendments are moving some way towards achieving that, which might make what I am about to say obsolete. I do not fully understand those amendments yet, as I am not a lawyer, as I have said.

My understanding of the Bill as it stood this morning was that only the Secretary of State had the power to authorise a retention notice, a national security notice and a technical capability notice. That was not in keeping with the rest of the Bill, which requires a judicial commissioner to be involved in the review and approval of those areas. Those notices in effect enable the Secretary of State to demand that private companies act as a facilitator, depository and provider of people’s communications. We need independent oversight, and as I have said, the Government have come some way towards establishing that, in new clause 10 and elsewhere. However, technical capability notices will have an impact on UK businesses with 10,000 or more users, in that they will require those companies to build systems to store user data for use by the intelligence agencies, the police and the Home Office. That is what is written into the code of practice.

Looking at the codes of practice, one thing that jumped out at me and which I found very difficult as a Conservative was the fact that the communications service providers—CSPs—will be subject to a technical capability notice. They will have to notify the Government of new products and services in advance of their launch in order to allow consideration of whether it is necessary and proportionate to require the CSP to provide technical capability information on a new service. So, in English, and from a Conservative point of view, that will effectively mean that UK-based companies launching new products will now have to get permission from the state before they can go to market, in order to identify whether or not the state will require an ability to hack those products. Why on earth would a small business launch a new service here in the United Kingdom if those conditions remain in the codes of practice?

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee) 10:00 pm, 6th June 2016

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has four issues relating to this group of amendments that it would like to raise in the House and press the Minister on. The first relates to thematic warrants, and I want to follow up on the points made by the shadow Home Secretary and the shadow Immigration Minister on my own Front Bench, as well as those made by Stephen McPartland and Joanna Cherry.

Our starting point is that we must remember that thematic warrants give enormous powers. Those who are authorised have the wide-ranging powers to read someone’s emails, which could include a report sent by a hospital about a medical condition, to listen to their phone calls, to see to whom they have been making calls, to hack their mobile phone and turn it into a listening device, and to look at all their information, including from their bank. The powers are very wide ranging. Such warrants are supposed to be targeted, so I urge the Minister to recognise the feeling across the House that powers are needed to make us safe, but that the Government have not yet sufficiently delineated and narrowed the circumstances in which they should be used. I urge the Government to talk to the Opposition Front-Bench team, their Back Benchers and the SNP to make the targeted powers more targeted.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick Labour, Walsall North

What my right hon. and learned Friend says sums up the position. The Opposition Front-Bench team has managed to negotiate concessions from the Government. I accept their good intentions—the Opposition Front Bench—but the fact is that the powers that the Bill will give the security authorities are unacceptable despite all the concessions, which is a good reason for voting against Third Reading.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

Let us see whether the Minister and the Government will recognise that we are all trying to get the same thing here. We are trying not only to keep the public safe, but to protect privacy. However, we do that—my hon. Friend will recognise this—in the knowledge that the security services do get tempted to overreach their powers. As night follows day, that is what happens. There are so many examples, after which people think, “How on earth could that ever happen?” It happens because when the security services have powers they get tempted to overreach them. That is why safeguards and narrow definitions are so important. For example, I was subject to security service surveillance, not because I was subversive but because I was fighting for human rights, women’s rights and workers’ rights. The point is that if they can do it, they will unless there is proper delineation, so I add my voice to those who argue for a narrower definition of thematic powers.

I also highlight the concerns of the Joint Committee on Human Rights to those who query the point about major modifications. The Government have gone such a long way to ensure that warrants are properly issued, so why are they driving a coach and horses through the proposal by saying, “After the warrant has been issued, if you feel like it, you can have a major modification”? Trust me, such modifications will not narrow the scope of warrants, they will only widen them. The Government have moved to an extent and have said that major modifications will be notified to the judicial commissioners, but it is not good enough just to tell them; there needs to be a proper approval process. The Government should look again at the proposal.

As for legal professional privilege and the constitutional issues that we should bear in mind when thinking about what are described as privileges, we must be extremely careful with such areas. Lawyers are able to hold the Government to account and that is called the rule of law. We do not want to give the Executive the ability to interfere unjustifiably with the rule of the law by undermining people in the legal exercise of their rights. I agree with the Opposition Front Bench and others who have said that the Government should go back to the Bar Council and the Law Society to ensure that legal professional privilege is properly sorted out.

Turning to my main point, I am sorry that Sir Edward Leigh is not currently in the Chamber because I largely agree with him, but the Joint Committee on Human Rights has a better way of dealing with the matter. What we need to remember, as MPs, is that this is not just about our constituents being able to come to talk to us confidentially, although we should absolutely defend that. Let me just give one example on that. I had MI6 in my constituency and the cleaners there were about to be privatised, and then sacked or made redundant. They lived in my constituency but they had signed the Official Secrets Act and been told that they were to talk to nobody and were not allowed to be in a union. They came to me very upset, with one of them crying. They said, “We don’t know whether we can speak to you.” I said, “You can speak to me.” They then said, “We think that telling you what we are going to tell you is against the law.” I said, “It doesn’t matter what you are going to tell me. Your legal right, as my constituents, to tell me something that I need to know trumps everything.” They then said that they were going to be made redundant, and so I went along to see someone—I believe it was the director general of MI6—handily taking with me the then deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, my hon. Friend Jack Dromey. We got them all redundancy payments and that was sorted out, but I do not want to digress.

I think that the right of individuals to speak to their MP is important, but we face an even bigger constitutional issue, which relates to the fact that we are here not just to listen to what our constituents say, but to hold the Government to account. They are the Executive, and so the idea that the Executive has the power to hack into the emails and listen to the phones of those who are supposed to be holding them to account—to do all of this—offers a big prospect of the Executive abusing their power and undermining the legislature’s ability to hold them to account. The person in pole position to defend the importance of the legislature holding the Government to account is not the Prime Minister, who is the pinnacle of the Executive. We are here to hold the Prime Minister to account.

I appreciate that the Minister has said, “Make the Prime Minister consent to all our emails being hacked, all our phones being listened to and everything else”, but that gives me no reassurance at all, because the Prime Minister is the wrong person for this. We have gone higher up the tree, but we have gone up the wrong tree, because the person who is there to protect us in doing our job of holding the Government to account, including the Prime Minister, is the Speaker. That was recognised in relation to the situation of Damian Green when there was the question of the warrant being issued, so this is not unprecedented—the recognition that it is the Speaker who has to protect our rights to hold the Executive to account, which is what we are actually here for.

My Committee discussed this issue at great length. We do not suggest that we make the Speaker an arm of the state and make him start looking at warrants for all of us, but we go further than the hon. Member for Gainsborough, who says that the Speaker should be notified. We say that the Speaker should be notified sufficiently well in advance that if he or she feels that it is right to do so, they can go to be heard by the judicial commissioner to make their views known, and so they can have an intervention in the process. I am certain that if it was known that the Speaker would be notified and have the opportunity to speak about it to the judicial commissioner, that would make the security services much more cautious before they actually went for warrants to intercept all the communications that we are having.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

I could make two points about what the right hon. and learned Lady said. She says that the Speaker should be involved but not implicated, but I do not see how the Speaker would not be implicated and become an “arm of the state”—that is not a phrase I would have used, but she used it. The Speaker would by necessity become implicated because he would have to know the grounds on which the Prime Minister or others were acting. I do not really understand how she can claim that the Speaker can be involved but not implicated.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

It is true that we are sending part of the process to the Speaker, but we are not giving them the power to authorise. It would be wrong to make the Speaker be part of the authorising process—someone who applies for the warrant, or someone who, like the judicial commissioner, has to authorise the warrant. What we are talking about is notifying the Speaker, but in sufficient time so that if they notice that it is becoming very widespread, they have the opportunity to go before the judicial commissioner and say, “Look, this is going on too widely.”

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

Let me get this right. The right hon. and learned Lady is saying the Speaker would know when and who, but not what or why, because to know what or why, the Speaker would have to become implicated in the way I described.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

No, I think the Speaker would have to know the basis of the application if they wanted to; otherwise, how could they go before the judicial commissioner and say it was unacceptable? If people say, “Goodness me! That would be telling the Speaker information that would be useful in the hands of Daesh or al-Shabaab,” we would be in trouble anyway if the Speaker were the wrong sort of person to have it. I take a slightly different approach from the hon. Member for Gainsborough. He postulated the issue as politics, which is the Government and the Prime Minister, versus non-politics, which is the Speaker. It is not politics versus non-politics; it is the legislature versus the Executive. That is how we should think about it.

Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

Will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

I will, but I have a feeling that, sadly, I will disagree with my right hon. Friend, because I heard his intervention earlier and think that he too is barking up the wrong tree. To find myself barking up the same tree as the hon. Member for Gainsborough is a very sorry state of affairs, but I have Stephen McPartland on my side.

Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

It is typical of my right hon. and learned Friend to get her defence in before hearing the attack. She has been a Law Officer, and when she was Solicitor General I had every confidence in her to be able to sort out the legal advice she gave as Solicitor General from whatever political position she might have taken. Why would she doubt that a Prime Minister could do the same?

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

Because the Prime Minister is the Executive, and we need the separation of powers and the balance of powers. I disagreed with the hon. Member for Gainsborough when he was talking about what a great guy the Prime Minister is, so it is not a problem with him, but it might be with the next one. I am on my fifth Prime Minister now and they all have something in common: they regard being held to account as a bit of a nuisance. They do not welcome scrutiny—it is just the nature of the beast. We have to take that into account and accept the fact that, for the rule of law, we have to protect lawyers; for freedom of speech and expression, we have to protect journalism; and for holding the Executive to account, we must protect our rights in this House.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I am grateful to one of my predecessors for allowing me to intervene. What if, in a hearing, the Speaker agreed with the application and said, “Yes, go ahead—apply for the warrant. We don’t have any objection to it.”? How would a Member of Parliament hold the Speaker to account for a decision that affected them?

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

The point is that the system has accountability for the Home Secretary for issuing the warrant through the judicial commissioner. We are talking about additional protection by way of the Speaker. The Speaker would not be supporting an application; the Speaker would simply be notified, and if they had no objection, it would go through and they would have nothing to do with it—but the Speaker would have knowledge. That is true: the Speaker would have knowledge of it.

In a difficult situation, how do we make sure that we do not put all our rights as a legislature into the hands of the Executive? I appreciate that the Government have tried to work out ways to strengthen the safeguards, but the issue is not just the strength of the safeguards; it is the appropriateness of them. The Prime Minister is not an appropriate safeguard to protect the rights of us in this House to hold him to account. I simply ask the Government to look again.

I congratulate the Government, the Labour and SNP Front Benchers and Back Benchers for working constructively on this. Ultimately, we all want the same thing: we want to be able to walk the streets safely and sleep safely in our beds, but not have the Executive tempted to abuse their power.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield 10:15 pm, 6th June 2016

It is a pleasure to follow Ms Harman. I shall resist being dragged away from the specific issues on which the ISC has tabled amendments. However, the Government have moved substantially on some key issues, providing greater protection, for which we should be grateful. On the point made by the right hon. and learned Lady, I confess that I find the idea that the Speaker could provide the necessary safeguard, when one looks at the surrounding circumstances, difficult to follow. Ultimately, the double-lock mechanism provides far greater protection. We have to accept that there are scrutiny and oversight mechanisms in place that mean that if this became a common issue, it would surface properly in our system, with both the Interception of Communications Commissioner and, ultimately, the ISC.

I understand the problem that the right hon. and learned Lady has raised. I am not unsympathetic to her anxieties, which have also been expressed by my hon. Friend Stephen McPartland. However, I do not see how the mechanism that has been proposed and which involves the Speaker would, in practice, provide the safeguard that the right hon. and learned Lady seeks.

Amendment 25 was tabled by members of the ISC and deals with thematic warrants, on which there has been quite a lot of discussion. I have absolutely no doubt that thematic warrants have the potential to intrude into the privacy of a great many people. In the ISC report on the draft Bill, we recommended that that greater intrusion should be balanced and constrained, and suggested that those warrants should be limited in duration to the period for which they could be authorised. We then took considerably more evidence from the agencies on thematic warrants, and they argued persuasively that if thematic warrants were issued for a shorter time, there would not be sufficient time for the operational benefits of the warrant to become apparent before they had to apply for it to be renewed. We recognised that the Secretary of State and the commissioner would therefore have insufficient information on which to assess necessity and proportionality.

We therefore accept that limiting the duration of a thematic warrant is not the most effective way to constrain it. Nevertheless, we remain of the view that clause 15 as currently worded is a very extensive power indeed. Subsection (2) makes it clear that a targeted interception warrant is turned into a thematic warrant if it can relate to

“a group of persons who share a common purpose or who carry on, or may carry on, a particular activity”.

Giving that its ordinary English meaning, it immediately becomes apparent that the scope is potentially enormous. However, I want to make it quite clear that we have not seen any examples of that power being misused in any way, which presents the House with a challenge. To try to meet that challenge, the Committee’s suggestion, after reflection, is that it might be possible to include an additional constraint by removing the word “or” and adding “and” after the words, “sharing a common purpose”, to try to narrow the scope of the provision. That is why amendment 25 was phrased in that way.

Since then, as often happens in dialogue between the Committee and the agencies, we have received further information. I saw persuasive information this morning that suggested that if we adopted that approach, it would have the unintended consequence of making perfectly legitimate operations by the agencies impossible, and would place a great burden on them, because the use of a straight, targeted warrant based on the particular person or organisation, or a single set of premises, could not meet the necessity and proportionality test of having to do something further. I tabled this probing amendment in order to contribute to the debate, but I still take the view that there is an issue here that the Government need to consider carefully. It crossed my mind as I listened to the various submissions that one possible route might be the creation of a protocol to be used by the agencies—one that could be seen by the Intelligence and Security Committee and that would provide reassurance that the wide scope of the wording could not be open to abuse.

The point was perfectly reasonably made to me—I think by the Home Secretary—that the idea that the Interception of Communications Commissioner would tolerate an abuse that went outside the necessity and proportionality test was, in practice, rather unlikely, but the issue cannot simply be ignored. Something more is needed, because on the plain wording of the statute, the scope that “common purpose” and “a particular activity” allow seems excessive. There must be some constraint, and I leave it to the ingenuity and common sense of the Ministers to come up with a solution to this real problem.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I think my right hon. and learned Friend can see the problem: if we limit the provision too much—to “common purpose”—we might end up being able to deal only with conspiracy-type offences, as opposed to individual ones. We are trying to be very careful as to the wording, and it certainly is not the Government’s intention to do anything by sleight of hand to create a definition that would be unacceptably wide—far from it.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield

I am grateful to the Solicitor General, and I have no reason to disagree with his analysis of the way in which this matter has been approached. I also have no reason to disagree with him about the necessity of having thematic warrants in addition to warrants targeted at premises, individuals or organisations, but the question is how that reassurance can be provided. I hope very much that the Government can go away and give this issue some thought. I suspect it will arise in the other place, when these provisions are debated there. It is important, and I think that a solution can be found, but I accept that, although the amendment we have tabled would provide one, it would also place the agencies in difficulty.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

Since my right hon. and learned Friend is inviting me to employ my ingenuity, I will try to do so. This is, in essence, about proportionality. We had quite a lot of debate earlier about necessity, but proportionality matters too. In determining what is reasonable—

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. I wish to listen to the mellifluous tones of the right hon. Gentleman, as some Members do, and people listening elsewhere might conceivably wish to hear his sonorous tones. We would be assisted if he faced the House.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

I think this is about proportionality. The answer to my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Grieve is that yes, of course, in establishing the character of the proportionality and therefore the range he described, we may need to think about the sort of protocol he set out.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield

I am grateful to the Minister, and I leave the matter there.

I turn now to amendments 19, 20 and 21, which deal with the renewal of warrants. They may appear somewhat complicated, but they deal with a very simple issue. Warrants for interception last for up to six months. Under clause 29, the warrant can be extended by a further six months at any time before the original warrant expires. That creates a loophole because it would theoretically allow for a warrant to be renewed immediately after it was issued, thereby permitting interception for 12 months. That is clearly not what the Bill intends. The Secretary of State might well argue—logically—that the commissioner would never approve such a renewal, and that she would not either, but this is nevertheless a loophole that can and should be closed, and these amendments would ensure that it is. I hope very much that the Government can accept them.

I should mention that the amendments in my name relate only to warrants for interception and bulk interception. I would be grateful if the Minister could assure the House that, if the Government accept my amendments, that acceptance will be extended to other consequential amendments of a like character, to ensure that the power cannot be abused elsewhere.

Amendment 16 relates to clause 45 and interception in accordance with overseas requests. The clause gives effect to the European Union’s convention on mutual assistance on criminal matters and permits an overseas authority to request the support of the United Kingdom in undertaking the interception of communications. Curiously, and probably accidentally, it does not repeat the protection that exists in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which ensures that requests can be made only where a person being intercepted will be outside the United Kingdom. That seems to us be another loophole that ought to be dealt with. Although the Government had indicated that it could be dealt with in secondary legislation, the Intelligence and Security Committee do not consider that to be satisfactory. It is far too important an issue to be left to secondary legislation; it should be dealt with in the Bill. If our amendment is accepted, the matter can be resolved without more ado.

Finally, may I touch on an issue that has been raised by Joanna Cherry and others, namely economic wellbeing? When the Intelligence and Security Committee first came to consider the issue as a subset of national security in our initial evidence-taking sittings, we came to the conclusion that it ought to be possible to remove economic wellbeing as a criterion altogether. That is why we made the initial recommendation that economic wellbeing, so far as it is relevant to national security and relates to people outside the British islands, be removed from the Bill as grounds for interception. We took the view that it could all be safely contained in the subset of national security. After we published our report, the Government provided us, through the agencies, with additional evidence regarding their reasoning for including it as a separate ground. They also provided us with a number of examples of where it was being or might be used, which illustrated areas where it was useful to have it as a separate category.

Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

Although I am conscious that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will not, for obvious reasons, be able to go into detail on all of the examples that were given, one thing that can be avowed under this particular rubric is critical national infrastructure, which is an obvious area where the public and the state need to be protected.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield

The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. The consequence of damaging national infrastructure would be to cause a severe economic shock to the United Kingdom. At the end of the day, the most persuasive argument of the lot was that listing economic wellbeing separately added transparency as to the purposes for which an investigatory power was being sought. We came to the conclusion that it would probably assist the judicial commissioners in their consideration of the necessity and proportionality of the warrant, precisely because it highlighted that it fell within a category in which economic wellbeing was present; it was therefore in practice likely to be subject to very detailed scrutiny. For all those reasons, we did not table a further amendment on that point.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

Given the lateness of the hour and the number of right hon. and hon. Members still wishing to catch your eye, Mr Speaker, I hope to confine my remarks principally to those amendments that stand in my name, but I would also like to pick up on one or two more general points.

With regard to the intervention that I made on the shadow Home Secretary concerning the extension of the Pitchford inquiry to Scotland, the House may wish to consider the case reported in the Sunday Herald recently of Dr Nicholas McKerrell, a lecturer in law at Glasgow Caledonian University. Dr McKerrell discovered recently that he is among those who have been blacklisted from working in the construction industry. That was something of a shock, because Dr McKerrell—I do not think he will mind me saying so—is perhaps more accustomed to labouring in law libraries than on building sites. I know a little bit about him. He may not thank me for broadcasting this, but he is a distant cousin of mine, and he comes from the more left-wing branch of the family, if I may say so. He has been involved over a number of years in a variety of different protests, particularly and perhaps most pertinently those surrounding the extension of the M74 motorway around Glasgow in the 1990s.

I bring the case to the House’s attention because Dr McKerrell’s inclusion on the list of those blacklisted from working in the construction industry could have happened only as a result of information provided to those compiling the blacklists by undercover police officers. That is why it is necessary and important that the work of the Pitchford inquiry should extend to parts of the United Kingdom beyond England, and that the Home Secretary should make it clear at the earliest available opportunity that that is her intention. Otherwise, the Pitchford inquiry will never get to the bottom of the range of enterprises undertaken by undercover police officers. I suggest to the shadow Home Secretary that such investigation into the use of undercover police officers in blacklisting does not exclude the possibility of having the wider inquiry that he seeks into the use of blacklisting more generally.

On the protection of legal privilege, I am enormously concerned that even at this stage of the Bill—after a draft Bill, and after the Bill has been through Committee—various professional bodies, including the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland, remain unpersuaded that the Government’s efforts have been sufficiently robust. I think that their judgment is correct, and I look forward to seeing something a bit more substantial.

On the authorisation of warrants relating to Members of Parliament, Ms Harman and the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which she chairs, have come up with probably the least bad option. I do not think that there is a perfect solution to this somewhat knotty problem, but I think that, as she said, removing the final act of authorisation from the Prime Minister and the Executive and putting it in the hands of some judicial authority is at the heart of it. She is right to say that you, Mr Speaker, representing Parliament, would be the most obvious check or balance to the acts of the Executive. Although there is no perfect solution, the solution proposed by the Joint Committee is probably as close as we are going to get. I commend her and the Committee for that.

A variety of amendments relating to single-step judicial authorisation of warrants stand in my name. If some of those amendments appear familiar to the House, it is probably because they are. They were tabled in Committee by the Opposition Front-Bench team, and I confess that I do not understand why the Opposition have not tabled them again tonight. The accommodation that appears to have been reached on the matter by the Government and Opposition Front-Bench teams looks all too cosy, and I do not think that we have been particularly well served by it, so I make no apology for bringing these amendments back to the Floor of the House.

Essentially, the amendments remain true to the observation made by David Anderson, QC, in exploring a double-authorisation process:

“There was some resistance on the part of intercepting authorities to the idea of double authorisation, which was conceived as unnecessarily time-consuming.”

In essence, the deal that has been struck between the two Front Benches will leave us with the worst of all possible worlds. We have a double-lock or a double-step authorisation, as it were, that will be cumbersome—it will not meet the requirements of those who legitimately need speedy action—and will still leave the authorisation of warrants in the hands of the Home Secretary, which remains, to my mind, completely inappropriate.

The notion that the Home Secretary can somehow authorise such warrants because she is accountable to the House is, frankly, bogus. Liberty has described that notion as “misconceived and misplaced”. It is worth observing that for the Home Secretary to account in Parliament for the warrants she has signed might put her in a position of criminality as it will be a criminal act, under clause 49 and similar provisions in the Bill, to disclose the existence of a warrant.

On the previous group of amendments, the Solicitor General said it was unfair or unhelpful to look at the facts in other jurisdictions, and he made a reasonable point about the difference between jurisdictions that have inquisitorial processes rather than the adversarial ones with which we are familiar. I gently point out to him that if he looks at other common law jurisdictions—America, Australia, Canada—he will find that the process of warrant authorisations in all those jurisdictions is done by judges, and that there is no precedent for a common law jurisdiction such as ours to embark on the procedure that the Government would have us follow tonight.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden 10:30 pm, 6th June 2016

It is a pleasure to follow Mr Carmichael.

The Bill is undoubtedly necessary, in that it was preceded by interception and surveillance based on something like 66 different legal bases, and that was incomprehensible to almost anybody. I had hoped that the Bill would cover all the previous legal bases, but it does not do so. There are still matters that are not covered by the Bill. For example, the Intelligence Services Act 1994 is still avowed in the Bill, and is used as a mechanism for which it was not intended. I know that because I took that Bill through the House. I know what it was intended to do, and it was nothing like what it is now used for.

Since I have a very limited time, I will press on, but let me say this. Listening to most of the speeches on this group of amendments, I agreed with virtually all of them, particularly the points about modification. Ms Harman and my hon. Friend Sir Edward Leigh made a very good point—whatever the mechanism—about the flaws in the current Wilson doctrine, as now laid down in the Bill. There are therefore many changes yet to come, and I imagine they will come in the Lords, or indeed in the law courts.

In the next few minutes, I will focus on the amendments in my name, principally amendments 208 to 211, which deal with the issue of the so-called double lock. Until the change proposed today, it was more like a double latchkey because it was not really as strong as it was represented to be.

Before I go into that matter, I should tell the House that I take the view that the whole interception strategy used by this country is, in any event, flawed. We are virtually the only serious country in the world that does not use intercept evidence in court. The arguments made by the Government and the agencies are ones that could equally be made anywhere in the world. No other authority follows that. The fact that interception evidence is not used in court is one of the reasons why rather sloppy legal disciplines apply to the use of interception, particularly relying on the Home Secretary to authorise interceptions.

Now, there are practical, principled and political reasons, as well as reasons of accountability, for that being wrong, full stop. The practical reason is that the Home Secretary has admitted to authorising about 2,500 of these things a year. That is 10 a day—not at most, but on average. On Second Reading, I asked her to tell us how long she took over any of them, but she refused and sidestepped the question. When this situation became public, after the Anderson report, I had letters from policemen who were involved in the creation of warrants who said that it was simply impossible and that 10 a day could not be done—a judge could not do 10 a day. That is the first problem.

The second problem is that we take our judgment from the current Home Secretary. She is very unusual. She has been in office for six years. That is incredibly unusual, and a great reflection on her. But a typical Home Secretary is not there for six years. I was shadow Home Secretary for five years and faced four different Home Secretaries—one and a half years apiece, roughly. What are we looking at, then? We will have someone who has typically been in office for a year or so making really serious judgments in a real hurry. That is not the way to make the sort of balanced judgments that we expect when we are balancing the privacy of our citizens on the one hand and their life and security on the other.

The second reason is one of principle. I take the view, as did David Anderson, that it is perfectly proper for Ministers of the Crown to approve anything that would involve a foreign intercept, let us say, that would create a political problem for the country. I see no argument whatever, other than the vestiges of royal prerogative, why Ministers should make judgments about warrants brought against citizens of this country. I can see nothing that justifies that. Our greatest ally, America, views it with horror. It causes us problems with American companies when those warrants are presented. America uses a solely legal process, which would be my preference.

The arguments on accountability are frankly laughable. I know of no Minister who has stood at that Dispatch Box and defended the issue or non-issue of a warrant—not one—and it is arguably not legal. The argument put in Committee, I think by the Minister of State, was that Ministers are accountable to the Intelligence and Security Committee. The current members of that Committee include some of my oldest and dearest political friends, but I have to tell the House that I would not trust a Committee that had to be nominated by the Prime Minister, that met in secret and whose reports were redacted to hold the Executive to account. I could go into the history. It missed the dodgy dossier, the torture and the mass surveillance, and got 7/7 wrong. It is not a Committee we can rely on for accountability until it has proved itself over many more years.

A politician should not sign these warrants off. We are not going to win that argument today, so what is the next best step? It is that a judicial process, based on the evidence—always, not optionally—be the check on the issue of these warrants. My preference is that that should happen before the Home Secretary sees them, not after. That might cut 2,500 down to 2,000, and make things a little more practical. The simple truth is it would be a better way in any well-designed system.

My amendments aim to improve the Bill in that regard. The Government have come up with a manuscript amendment that the former DPP, Keir Starmer, says he thinks is acceptable. Until I have taken advice I cannot make a judgment on that, but for that reason, I will not press my amendments today. But I say to Members on the Front Bench that if their arguments on this issue do not stand up they will either collapse in the Lords or they will collapse in the law courts—one or the other. That is pretty certain.

A number of other issues have been raised today. Those include legal privilege, which as I say I think is the most important corrosion that is going on. We have heard about the Wilson doctrine, and about journalists and trade unions. It is now a wider issue. One thing that has come up in the past few years has been the misbehaviour of police forces and agencies with respect to demonstrators—the legitimate, proper and democratic operations of the Green movement, for example; there is also the blacklisting that Andy Burnham referred to. All those things need to be dealt with, and if the privacy guidance and clauses that are effectively built into the Bill do not do that, we must find a way to ensure that we do not just solve the problems of history, but that we solve problems for the future.

Photo of Geoffrey Cox Geoffrey Cox Conservative, Torridge and West Devon

I shall be very brief, Mr Speaker, and I am grateful to you for calling me at this late hour. I wish to address clause 25 and legal professional privilege. In what circumstances, other than the iniquity exception, will legal professional privilege be overridden? In introducing his remarks, the Minister said, I think, that there was some margin where legal professional privilege could be overridden, even where the iniquity exception did not apply. That would be a radical and fundamental change to the legal protection given to the privilege of those conversing and confiding in their lawyers. It would be unprecedented, and contrary to the decisions of the highest courts in this country. Where does the distinction lie in the Minister’s mind, and how would that square with current legal authority on the subject?

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

I only hope that your earlier remarks about my style, Mr Speaker, can be matched by my substance.

Let me deal with the last contribution first. My hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General made it clear that these are matters of continuing consideration, and further discussions are to be held. My hon. and learned Friend Mr Cox is right to say that we have not yet got to where we want to be, but I understand the weight and significance of his remark about limits on privilege, which will certainly be included in any consideration that we make following those discussions. I do not want to anticipate those discussions tonight, but, as the shadow Secretary of State recommended, we will engage in them without delay, and conclude them on the basis of adding to the Bill in a way that is sufficient to protect legal privilege.

A number of Members on both sides of the House emphasised the importance of the Bill per se. It is important because it provides law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies with the powers they need to keep us safe, and it does so in a way that makes those powers transparent, while also adding to the checks and balances that are vital in the defence of private interest. It therefore radically overhauls the way in which such powers are authorised and overseen, in particular through the introduction of the double lock for the most sensitive powers. This is a radical change—perhaps the most radical change of modern times in these matters.

The Bill also ensures that these powers are fit for the digital age. As the Chair of the ISC, and others, have said, much of what is done now arises as a result of a series of pieces of legislation that I suppose one could call reactive. They were consequent on the need to provide those who are missioned to protect us with what they require to do so. The Bill draws those powers together and makes them more comprehensible and transparent, which adds to the oversight and safeguards that make up the checks and balances I have described. This is an important Bill, and it is therefore important that we get it right.

That brings me to my second substantial point, which is about the spirit of our consideration. This debate has been conducted in a way that I think does credit to this House, and that is largely—it is unusual to hear a Minister say this, so I wish to emphasise it in the style that you recommended earlier, Mr Speaker—due to the Opposition. The Opposition make choices about how they scrutinise the Government, how they hold the Government to account, and how they deal with legislation on the Floor of the House and in Committee. Those judgments are fundamentally important, not only for the health of the House and our democracy, but for the interests of our people. The Opposition and the Government have worked together on the Bill. If that causes pain to Mr Carmichael, so be it, because if we end up with a Bill that is better than it started—and I believe we will end up with a Bill that is considerably better—I take the view that we have done our job as well as we could reasonably be expected to do it.

To that end, as we have said a number of times this evening, we continue to look at these matters. Clearly, the House of Lords will want its say—it is right that it should—and will contribute to further scrutiny, but the spirit that has imbued all we have done until now is important in a Bill that, frankly, any Government of any colour would have introduced, not just because there is a sunset clause on previous legislation, but because the Government know that it is necessary for the powers to be updated so that they are fit for purpose, and for the safeguards to be updated in accordance with that.

Let me deal with some of the specifics—I want to save sufficient time to deal with the salient issue of trade unions, which the shadow Secretary of State spoke about with such passion. Modifications were mentioned by both Opposition and Government Members. It is important to emphasise that the Government have considered the concerns raised in Committee—that point was made by my hon. Friend Stephen McPartland, Opposition Front Benchers and others.

As a result, we have introduced a number of significant amendments to make it clear that a warrant against a single person cannot be modified into a thematic warrant; to require all major modifications to be notified to a judicial commissioner; and to ensure that the Wilson doctrine and legal professional practice safeguards apply to urgent modifications, so that the double lock, with all that that suggests, applies too.

Those amendments are responses to matters raised in Committee, to ensure that the warranting system is consistent. I entirely accept the point that it would be completely unacceptable to have a robust system for issuing warrants and a less robust system for modifying them. Warranting has to be consistent throughout, and there can be no back-door way of weakening the process. That is not what the Government intend and not what we would allow. We have made those changes but, as I have said, we are happy to consider those matters carefully—I have heard what has been said tonight by Members on both sides of the House about what more might be done.

Keir Starmer and others have made the argument repeatedly that more should be stated on the face of the Bill. That is what the manuscript amendment does. On that basis, I am grateful for the comments made by the shadow Secretary of State and the shadow Minister in welcoming the amendment.

My right hon. and learned Friend Mr Grieve tabled amendments on behalf of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Amendments 15 to 17 would add another condition to clause 45, which provides for circumstances in which a telecommunications operator may intercept communications in response to a request made by the international agreement. The additional condition would require that interception must be for the purpose of obtaining information about the communications of people who are known or believed to be outside the United Kingdom. That amendment would replicate the current position in RIPA and, I agree, would provide valuable assurances. As drafted, the amendment contains minor, technical deficiencies, and for that reason, as my right hon. and learned Friend will understand, we will not accept it.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. I know the Minister of State is greatly enjoying his oration, but I am conscious of the fact that the clock in front of him is not functioning, and I want him to know two things: first, that he should face the House, as we continually exhort him to do; and, secondly, that he has a further seven minutes in which to excite the House.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

Seven minutes of pure joy, Mr Speaker.

The Government will bring back further amendments to do what my right hon. and learned Friend intends.

Amendments 19 to 23, also tabled on behalf of the Intelligence and Security Committee, seek to prohibit a targeted or bulk interception warrant being renewed for more than 30 days. I do not foresee any circumstance where such a renewal application would be approved by the Secretary of State or judicial commissioner, but this is another matter that I agree could be clearer in the Bill. As with the previous amendment, we will revisit this and table an amendment in the other place.

I am less convinced by the argument my right hon. and learned Friend makes on amendment 25. The amendment would prohibit warrants being sought against suspects who are carrying out the same activity but who may not share a common purpose. In my judgment, a restriction of this kind would have a material impact on current operations. It would, for example, prohibit the targeting of an online forum that is used predominantly—but not exclusively—by child abusers, because the agency could not be certain that everyone accessing the forum was doing so for a common purpose. I have profound reservations about that amendment. I understand the sense of it and I understand why it has been tabled, but I do not think the Government can accept it. I do not want to give the impression that the Government accept any amendment, regardless of what we think about it. That is not our style, however conciliatory we might be.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield

I did not quite follow what my right hon. Friend meant by that. I exhorted him to give the matter a little further thought and suggested there might be some ways in which it could be dealt with. I very much hope his answer was not suggesting that he was ruling that out, because that might place me in the position of wanting to put the amendment to the House.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

“Very much thought” is my middle name. Actually, that is several middle names, isn’t it, Mr Speaker? I will of course do that. Indeed, I thought the point my right hon. and learned Friend made about ways in which we could achieve what he sets out to do was well made, as I said in an earlier intervention.

Power is legitimised only by the means by which those who exercise it are held to account. The health of our open society relies on the acceptance that those with whom we differ should be free to make their case, campaign or crusade. The Labour Opposition tabled an amendment on trade unions, and I want to be crystal clear about our response to it: it would neither be proportionate nor lawful for the security or intelligence agencies to investigate legitimate trade union activity. However, there are good reasons for seeking to put the matter beyond doubt. That is what amendment 262 seeks to do.

I know that this is a matter of profound concern to the Labour party, but again let me be crystal clear: it is a matter of profound concern to me, too. Trade unions make a vital contribution to the free society I mentioned a moment ago. Working people would be considerably worse off if it were not for the activities of trade unions through the ages. My father was a shop steward, my grandfather was the chairman of his union branch and I am proud to be a member of a trade union myself.

Let me do something else that is rarely done in this House. I have already praised the Opposition and commended the way they have gone about their scrutiny of the Government’s proposals; now I am going to accept the amendment that stands in the name of the Opposition.

Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

I am concerned about the terminology used in amendment 262. It refers to the British Islands, which include the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. If the Minister accepts the amendment, are we legislating outwith our jurisdiction?

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 11:00 pm, 6th June 2016

Notwithstanding that technical point, which I will happily deal with after the debate—I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for making it—I will certainly accept what the Opposition have proposed as a matter of principle. It seems absolutely right that they have brought it to the House’s attention, and they can perfectly properly claim it as a victory, because I am persuaded of the need to do this. It was not in the original Bill, but it will be in the Bill as it goes forward. In that spirit and that mood, it is vital to understand that the Bill is in our national interest and there to promote and preserve the common good. It is therefore right that it make further progress.

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary

The Minister’s comments at the Dispatch Box will have given hope to thousands of trade unionists in this country. Their legitimate role has been properly recognised by him at the Dispatch Box—long may that spirit continue from the Government Benches!

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

I cannot add to that, so I had better just sit down. Thank you very much.

Question put and agreed to.

New clause 7 accordingly read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

Six hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on consideration, the proceedings were interrupted (Programme Order, this day).

The Speaker put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83E).

New Clause 8