Belhaj and Boudchar: Litigation Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:29 pm on 10th May 2018.

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Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Attorney-General 12:29 pm, 10th May 2018

I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for that, and I share his regret that it has taken this long to resolve the matter. He may know that in recent months—and it has been recent months—the Prime Minister has asked me to look in particular at this case and to lead the mediation process that recently concluded. What needed to be done here was apparent to me very quickly following my involvement in the case: there needed to be a resolution of this matter and an apology. Although, as he knows, this is an immensely complex matter, legally, factually and in many other ways, it is extremely welcome that we have been able to resolve matters as we have.

In so far as reassurance for the future is concerned, my right hon. and learned Friend has heard me say something about, and of course he knows about, the changes that have been made, since the incidents I have described, to the systems that we apply here. He knows from his experience in government—I have certainly found this in mine—that the way in which decisions of this nature are taken is now fundamentally different from the way in which they previously were, and that provides us with some reassurance. He also mentions the ISC report, which we await. I hope he will be reassured to know that, as far as I know, the Committee has been provided with the information that it has asked for in relation to this case—I know the Committee will ask again if there is more that it requires. When it has produced its report, the Government will of course seek to respond in a meaningful way to it.