Security Service Personnel (Northern Ireland)

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th December 2016.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The safety and security of all those serving in the PSNI, prisons and security forces in Northern Ireland is of the utmost importance to this Government. We keep under careful review arrangements and advice to support their protection.

Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. He will know from his previous role that any breach of the security data of a member of the security services poses an obvious threat and risk to them and their families. Will he undertake a desktop review of all data handling and the security of postal communications between the Northern Ireland Office and security personnel, both former and serving? Will he also undertake to press this matter with the Department of Justice, as they must join up with the NIO to tackle this?

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The hon. Gentleman has raised an individual case with me, and I shall write to him with my response. I do take the security of information relating to people who serve by guarding and protecting us very, very seriously. I meet the military, the PSNI and the Justice Minister; I undertake to raise the importance of ensuring the appropriate protection of the personal data of security force members at the next meeting, and to consider the issue further.