G20 and the Paris Attacks — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:54 pm on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Stowell of Beeston Baroness Stowell of Beeston Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal 3:54 pm, 17th November 2015

On my noble friend’s first point about the security services and intelligence being our first line of defence in this country, I agree that they are the first line of defence and do magnificent service for this country. Indeed, I think that the UK’s intelligence services are very much seen as the best in the world.

I am not sure that I agree with him that we have not supported them in the way that they need in order to do their work. We have ensured that they have all the funding and additional resources that they need, and I am sure that the House will be familiar with the range of different announcements that the Government have made, as I have already referred to, in the past few days.

We will keep the Investigatory Powers Bill under review. If there is anything in the draft Bill which the security services need now to do their work but do not have, we will certainly reconsider our approach. However, my noble friend must accept that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act, which we passed in July, brought into force the additional powers which the security services need, but they expire at the end of next year. The Investigatory Powers Bill will make sure that we enshrine and protect those powers for the future. It is about future-proofing powers, rather than giving new ones.