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

My right hon. Friend has been pursuing these issues for quite a long time now. He has always been absolutely consistent in the position he has taken, and I respect that position even though the Government disagree with his views.

Going back to the question about witnesses at the ISC, the offer was always there for agency chiefs, senior officials and Ministers to speak on behalf of officers who were or had been junior at the time of the events complained of. That is the way in which the Government respond to every Select Committee of Parliament, with the seniors in a Department or agency taking responsibility for the decisions made by junior staff.

In respect of what my right hon. Friend said about the Ministry of Defence, he will find when he looks at the principles that they apply expressly to members of our armed forces. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has issued a written ministerial statement today in which she says that the Ministry of Defence accepts the principles in full and has already begun work to update its internal guidance accordingly.