Government refuses judge-led inquiry, publishes new Guidance

Following Monday's Urgent Question, the government today issued a combination of Oral and Written Statements, along with the successor to the Consolidated Guidance to intelligence and military personnel on detainee issues. 

In his Oral Statement, the Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington announced the publication of the 'Principles' document by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, Sir Adrian Fulford, to replace the Consolidated Guidance. He also announced that "the Government have decided that it is not necessary to establish a further Inquiry." The Minister justified this on the grounds that there was no policy case for doing so because of the changes made to Guidance in recent years, and no legal obligation to do so either.

APPG Members David Davis, Dominic Grieve, Stephen Timms, Andrew Mitchell and Andy Slaughter spoke in response to the Statement, challenging the government's case and pointing in particular to the constraints on the Intelligence and Security Committee's (ISC) investigation that led the Committee to conclude that it should end its inquiry without its having reached full and definitive conclusions. APPG Members Lord Tyrie, Baroness d'Souza and Baroness Ludford spoke In the House of Lords debate,

The APPG will set out its full views on the new 'Principles' document shortly. The APPG participated fully in the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's consultation, and some of the Group's proposals were accepted; Sir Adrian Fulford's accompanying letter to the Prime Minister makes specific reference to the APPG regarding whistleblowing. However, the failure to set clear prohibitions on ministerial action and decision-making is a cause for significant concern.

The Statement and debate can be found here, and the APPG's press release can be found here.