Bulk interception warrants

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 2:30 pm, 7th June 2016

I can only regret the tone of the remarks of Simon Hoare. Had he said anything about the content of the Bill or the amendment, I might have regretted that as well.

There are a number of matters on which I wish to touch today. I should like to speak first of all in relation to the review, which has formed so much of today’s debate. I very much welcome the appointment of David Anderson, QC. He commands respect and confidence in all parts of the House. As Keir Starmer said earlier, it is significant and important that, first of all, he has a remit that looks at the necessity of these provisions and also that he has been able to select for himself the team with which he will be working.

I very much hope that the report will be produced in time for the Bill to be given the benefit of it when it is considered in the other place. I say to the Minister that if it is a question of a week or two here or there, notwithstanding the deadlines to which we are all working, it would be proper for the Government to take the view that it is best to get this report right rather than to get it out quickly. For my part, I am disinclined to think that David Anderson would have taken on this job if he were not able to do it in the time that is allowed to him, but, as we all know with these matters, sometimes the unexpected happens and sometimes it is not always easy to get to the truth of things. I do hope that there will be a degree of flexibility among the Government’s business managers, not least if we need a Government day to debate the report, so that the House has its voice heard.