Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:38 am on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 11:38 am, 18th July 2019

I cannot speculate about what an incoming Administration might or might not do. I am grateful to the hon. and learned Lady for her welcome for the principles, but I disagree with her on this point: I do not see that a revived judge-led inquiry would add anything to the actions that have already been taken. The Government and the agencies have accepted that things were done wrong, for various reasons, between 2001 and 2010. As a result of internal investigations, the ISC’s reports and the commissioner’s recommendations significant improvements have been made to the internal training of staff in the agencies. There is much greater clarity and rigour in the guidance that officers are given, and the accountability of officers to Ministers in cases where there might be a risk of torture or inhuman treatment has been highlighted in the guidance and the training.

In light of those changes, it is our view that no new policy decision would arise out of a further judge-led inquiry, nor do we believe that there is a legal obligation on the Government to hold such an inquiry. The police have had access to all the material they wish to access about individual cases, and, as I have said, they have concluded a number of investigations without need for further process, while a few investigations are continuing. So I think all necessary steps have been taken.