Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Clause 18

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 29th April 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office 5:30 pm, 29th April 2008

I take the concern. The hon. and learned Gentleman will know that in the first instance many of the people concerned, to answer the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, come under clause 18(5) where we talk about what constitutes a law enforcement authority and the rather broad definition of a police force. Sharper members of the Committee  will note that the one set of bodies that is not there is the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service.

As I understand it, the main import of the word “anyone” is to go beyond the notion of police and law enforcement agencies as identified there precisely to include the Security Service. We arrive at that point in this rather convoluted but entirely proper legalistic fashion, by referring back to clause 2(a), (b) and (c) and, by definition, once we have exhausted ourselves working through who might be the relevant agency for those subsections, we arrive at all the law enforcement agencies, all the police forces as suitably defined and everything but the Security Service and the SIS.

That is the convoluted explanation why, as I understand it in my humble, unlearned fashion, it says “anyone” there. If, God forbid, I have misled the Committee in any way, I will stand corrected. But I get no immediate sign of that from the people on my left who are not in the room, although one of them is now scribbling away. But that is what I presume is the configuration and interaction between the various aspects of the architecture. [Interruption.] Yes, that note was helpful, it simply confirmed that what I said was right.