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Investigatory Powers Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 19th July 2016.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 7:00 pm, 19th July 2016

My Lords, as I understand it, the Wilson doctrine committed the then Government to returning to Parliament if there was a change of policy. Clearly, now that we are enshrining what I think by common consent is a good formula for protecting parliamentarians, the need for a Government to come back to Parliament to announce a change in policy would have to be followed up, if it were done, by further primary legislation. I cannot envisage that and simply do not foresee that contingency. Through the Bill, we are now in a stronger and clearer position on the protection of parliamentarians and their communications with constituents than we were before.