Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

– in the House of Commons at 6:42 pm on 9 February 2022.

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

That Dame Diana Johnson and Mark Pritchard be removed from the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under Schedule 1 to the Justice and Security Act 2013 and Maria Eagle and Jeremy Wright be appointed to that Committee under section 1 of that Act.—(Mark Spencer.)

Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament 6:55, 9 February 2022

I will not detain the House, but it seems a suitable opportunity just to say a word of thanks to the two members of the Intelligence and Security Committee who are leaving, and a word of welcome to the two who are joining.

Dame Diana Johnson is well known for the calmness and conscientiousness of her approach to politics, and her good sense and good judgment on all issues to which she turns her hand. Our loss is the Home Affairs Committee’s gain. I felt honour bound to vote for her for that position, even though we knew that we would be losing her services which were much valued on the ISC, but we wish her every success in her new post.

My right hon. Friend Mark Pritchard brought his keen enthusiasm for the subjects with which the Committee deals strongly to bear and, as a result, has significantly shaped the make-up of our future programme of study. We are grateful to him for all his contributions.

The fact that we are gaining a former Attorney General, in the shape of my right hon. and learned Friend Jeremy Wright, is particularly apposite, because who better than a former Attorney General to be around to remind both the Government and the agencies of their obligations under the Justice and Security Act 2013? Sometimes those obligations are slightly overlooked, and we look forward to the strength and legal underpinning which his skills will bring to the ISC.

Finally, it is a pleasure to welcome Maria Eagle, who entered the House at the same time as I did in 1997. I particularly remember working with her on a cross-party basis on a very moving campaign that she undertook in relation to the tragic loss of the MV Derbyshire with all her crew. This was the largest ship of the British mercantile fleet ever to be lost at sea. As a result of her campaigning, and that of her predecessor in Liverpool, the wreck was eventually discovered and the crew absolved of any blame for the loss that had claimed their lives. It was a pleasure to work with her on a cross-party basis then. I, and I am sure all other members of the Committee, look forward to working with her on a cross-party basis in the future.

With that, Madam Deputy Speaker, I thoroughly endorse the recommendations in the motion.

Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham 6:58, 9 February 2022

I congratulate the new Leader of the House on his appointment and wish him all the best.

As the senior Opposition member of the ISC, I thank Mark Pritchard for his contribution to the Committee. I do not think that I am betraying any confidences by saying that the Committee did not always agree on everything, but his commitment and dedication to its work cannot be questioned. I wish him well for the future.

I also thank my right hon. Friend Dame Diana Johnson. I agree with the Chair of the ISC, Dr Lewis, that the Home Affairs Committee’s gain is our loss: she was a dedicated member of the Committee and took an active part. She will be missed; I wish her well in her endeavours.

I welcome my hon. Friend Maria Eagle to the Committee. Like the right hon. Member for New Forest East, I have worked with her for several years. I know that she will make a positive contribution.

The debate stood adjourned (Standing Order No. 9(3)).

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 41A(3)),

That at this day’s sitting, Standing Order 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply to the Motion in the name of the Prime Minister relating to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.—(Steve Double.)

Question agreed to.

Debate resumed.

Main Question again proposed.

Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham 7:00, 9 February 2022

I also look forward to working with Jeremy Wright, who will be an asset to the Committee. The Committee does a lot of work that is often not seen. I know that our two new members will add to the Committee’s important role in the scrutiny of our security services.

Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 7:01, 9 February 2022

As this is his first appearance at the Dispatch Box as Leader of the House, may I welcome Mark Spencer to the role? The shadow Leader of the House, my hon. Friend Thangam Debbonaire, is very much looking forward to their exchange at business questions tomorrow. I know that she would want me to place on record her thanks to the former Leader of the House, Mr Rees-Mogg. She very much appreciated his courtesy in communication outside the Chamber and their robust exchanges in it.

Like Dr Lewis and my right hon. Friend Mr Jones, I thank on the Opposition’s behalf the outgoing members of the Intelligence and Security Committee. My right hon. Friend Dame Diana Johnson and Mark Pritchard have served the Committee, Parliament and this country diligently. We thank them for their service and wish them well in their new roles.

The Opposition welcome the appointment of the Committee’s incoming members. I know that my hon. Friend Maria Eagle and Jeremy Wright will approach the Committee’s serious and important work with diligence, objectivity and a sense of service to their country. We wish them well and thank them for taking up their important roles.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 7:02, 9 February 2022

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. After my five years in the Whips Office, I hope that the House will indulge me for the next hour as I set out my thoughts.

I thank Jessica Morden and Mr Jones for their kind words of support; I hope that they continue tomorrow morning. I look forward to business questions. I will not speak tonight about my predecessor, my right hon. Friend Mr Rees-Mogg; I think that that deserves a wider audience, so I shall do it tomorrow.

I thank my right hon. Friend Mark Pritchard and Dame Diana Johnson for their service on the Committee. I wish my right hon. and learned Friend Jeremy Wright and Maria Eagle good luck. They were selected by a very wise former Chief Whip, so I am sure that they will serve on the Committee with expertise.

I hope that the House will support the motion. I wish both new members well as they join this important Committee. I commend the motion to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That Dame Diana Johnson and Mark Pritchard be removed from the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament under Schedule 1 to the Justice and Security Act 2013 and Maria Eagle and Jeremy Wright be appointed to that Committee under section 1 of that Act.