Investigatory Powers Bill - Commons Reasons

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 2nd November 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Prescott Lord Prescott Labour 4:00 pm, 2nd November 2016

I am here; I am in the other part of Parliament. They did not mention the victims, who were promised justice by every one of us. What do you think those victims feel, reading in the paper now that we are preparing to consult? They were involved in the consultation following incidents in which they suffered press intrusion. I do not believe the situation has changed, and we will have to have a debate about the independence of the complaints system. But I am quite shocked that we are now about to back out of what appeared to be an overwhelming commitment from Prime Ministers and party leaders.

Consultation? It is not consultation. It is leaving via the back door because we do not have the guts to implement a charter that was first agreed to some years ago, and which we all agreed to for good political reasons some months ago. Everybody felt under pressure. Now they feel free to get out of their obligations. That is terrible. It is the start of Parliament reducing its powers. This is a terrible step towards getting rid of the obligation to the individual in our society, who has the right to privacy.

There has been lots of talk about security and about terrorism, but the ordinary person, for whom we all have to be responsible and accountable to, should be protected from such abuse. Frankly, even this Bill is giving more powers to the police. We have seen with the police and the press that it did not stop with Leveson. It is still going on. We have seen what has happened with the police at Hillsborough and Orgreave. All this is a massive way of ignoring our responsibilities in this matter, which we are not carrying out. I agree that it is a diversion, but it is bigger than that: it is a move to get rid of any recommendation to ensure the rights of the individual against the press, in the name of the freedom of the press. I disagree with that, as we all should.

I will support the amendment. If your Lordships really want to settle it, tell the Minister to implement the law and Section 40. That was the will of this House. Let the Government now do what they were supposed to do in agreeing that legislation and carry it out in the name of the freedom of the individual.