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

I have spoken to my hon. Friend. He has not only considerable experience in this area, but some interesting and refreshing ideas that I have discussed with him and that I am happy to discuss further with him. He makes another point, which is that if we are to respond to any hybrid threat, whether that is from Russia or any other hostile state, we need to be as co-ordinated and nimble as the people doing the planning. One of the unfortunate characteristics of some of the hostile states is that they do not really have collective Cabinet responsibility. They are quite able just to decide that they will all do something and everyone is told to do it. At the very least, we must be more nimble and co-ordinated. Our work in that area is ongoing. What I can say to him is that, because, over the decades, investment has gone into the intelligence services, our specialist police and, increasingly, the National Economic Crime Centre, we are in a position where we have effectively funded all the actors on the stage. They have the capability, but we now need to make sure that the direction of their work is improved. That is what we work at every single day. I will perhaps be able to say more about it to my hon. Friend at another time as the work is currently in progress.