Salisbury Incident

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:42 pm on 12th September 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 1:42 pm, 12th September 2018

My hon. Friend is right. When we meet the people who do the job of keeping us safe every day, we find that they are honest, law-abiding, decent people of all backgrounds and all political persuasions who are determined to uphold this country’s values, which include the rule of law and the protection of rights. It is unfair to doubt them in the way that they are sometimes doubted in parts of the political arena, when it is often politicians who have made regretful decisions, rather than it being about the intelligence services’ intelligence.

We have heard a number of supportive voices from both sides of the House, including from the Labour party and members of its Front-Bench team. I will say one thing about the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. He has for many years challenged the Government of the day when our intelligence services have done something that he does not like, and he is allowed to do that. He has a record of that and he is proud of it, and there is nothing wrong with doing that. When the Russian intelligence services have done the same, he has somehow not yet been able to make the same challenge to the Government of Russia as he has historically made to the Government of Britain. That is where I would leave it; I think that is the best way to reflect on it. Apart from that, I do not doubt the Labour Front-Bench team’s support of our police and blue-light agencies; nor do I doubt the wishes of Labour Members to support this investigation and to discuss it and the next measures to take, many of which they have supportived. Labour should, though, think about calling out the responsibility for this attack. I think that is a fair position to take.