Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:21 pm on 16th July 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Ludford Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 3:21 pm, 16th July 2019

My Lords, can the Minister confirm that the Statement on a judge-led inquiry and the updating of the consolidated guidance promised yesterday by the Deputy Prime Minister will be an Oral Statement, as requested by the Speaker? Can he confirm on which day it will take place?

The sudden spurt of speed is welcome, but very belated. It is 17 years since the US rendition and torture in which the UK colluded began, and nine years since the Gibson inquiry was first set up. Is this because Prime Minister May fears that a Prime Minister Johnson would succumb to pressure from President Trump not to revive the inquiry? We have already heard only this afternoon that the Government have made no representations to the Trump Administration about that Administration’s child migrant detention.

Last year, the ISC was concerned to note that HMG,

“has failed to introduce any policy or process that will ensure that allies will not use UK territory for rendition purposes without prior permission”.

It appeared to be quite concerned that the,

“shift in focus signalled by the … US administration”,

meant that,

“reliance on retrospective assurances and the voluntary provision of passenger information”,

was not “satisfactory”. Are these kinds of concerns now driving this welcome but slightly mystifying sudden promise of a Statement?