APPG Chair Ken Clarke reacts to ISC reports, renews call for judge-led inquiry

The BBC and The Times have reported the renewed calls by APPG Chair Ken Clarke for a judge-led inquiry in response to damning findings by two reports into detainee mistreatment and rendition released today by the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Ken Clarke recognised the important and difficult work the intelligence and security services do, but said, "confidence in our intelligence and security services can only improve when the public can be sure that they will operate within clearly defined rules of law and not get involved in rendition and torture. [...] The Cameron coalition government gave a firm promise to parliament that it would hold a full independent judge-led inquiry into the subject and indeed appointed Sir Peter Gibson to this task. This was started by Sir Peter but was suspended due to the commencement of various police investigations. Ironically, I personally, as Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, with the authority of the then Prime Minister gave the sombre undertaking that this inquiry would be resumed when the police investigations were finished. I have to say I feel somewhat betrayed by the fact that the present government, now that the police inquiries are over, has so far not seen fit to honour that commitment, for reasons that I do not understand."

He continued, "The APPG has been working on these important issues since 2005 and it is more crucial than ever today to finally get to the full truth. The ISC says “we find it astonishing that, given the intense focus on this issue ten years ago, the government has failed to take action.” I strongly agree.’

Read the full statement here.

Read the BBC report here