Salisbury Incident

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

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

My right hon. Friend will understand that it would be wrong for me to detail conversations between our intelligence services and the Leader of the Opposition, our Prime Minister or anyone else. I regularly give briefs, in an open manner and on Privy Council terms, to some Opposition Members, including the shadow Home Secretary, Ms Abbott, and we have a full and honest discussion about things. I have never found the shadow Home Secretary wanting; she has always wanted to know and has always been engaged. I am not going to speculate about the Leader of the Opposition’s relationships with the security services or anyone else; I am simply reflecting the fact that the people in our police and intelligence services are good people and they are doing the right thing. That does not mean that we do not hold them to account, because we do. The Intelligence and Security Committee does, along with everything else. The important thing about this event is that it was not an ad hoc, amateur event; it was the state-sanctioned use of a chemical weapon on our soil that lead to the death of a British citizen and could have led to the deaths of many more. It is therefore unbelievable that we should have any doubt about calling people out when they are found. It is now in multicolour, and we can see all the presentations.