Clause 1 - Authorisation of criminal conduct

Part of Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice and Home Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 3:15 pm, 15th October 2020

I do share that concern. I really do not understand—others have eloquently made this point—why organisations indulging in lawful activity, such as trade unions and, indeed, other green activists, are required to be infiltrated by these sorts of covert human intelligence sources.

It is all very well to say that there is guidance. I listened carefully and with respect to those who are members of the Intelligence and Security Committee, because I know that they have information that the rest of us do not, but guidance is not good enough; it needs to be in the Bill. We are dealing with a Government who recently made commitments in an international agreement that they now evince the intention to break, so I will not apologise for saying that I do not have much trust in them. I want to see proper protections for civil liberties in the Bill. Without them, the Scottish National party will vote against it.