Offence of making unauthorised disclosure

Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 26 April 2016.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 11:00, 26 April 2016

I rise to speak to amendment 687, in clause 152, page 119, line 17, at end insert—

‘(2A) In proceedings against any person for an offence under this section in respect of any disclosure, it is a defence for the person to show that the disclosure was in the public interest

Again, I can be brief. The framework of safeguards and provisions relating to offences are pretty well the same throughout the bulk powers, and we have been across this territory before. The purpose of the amendment is to provide for a defence for whistleblowing activities. We have discussed it in Committee and I do not intend to press the matter to a vote. It is the subject of ongoing discussions and will need to be dealt with in an overarching and consistent way throughout the Bill.

Amendment not moved.

Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 8, Noes 2.

Division number 67 Christmas Tree Industry — Offence of making unauthorised disclosure

Aye: 8 MPs

No: 2 MPs

Aye: A-Z by last name

No: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause 152 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 153