Accountability of spies ‘weak’, say MPs

May 9, 2014

Image of Barbed wire

Reprieve comments on a report by the Home Affairs Committee which heavily criticises oversight of the UK’s security and intelligence agencies by the Intelligence and Security Services. The report calls for a radical overhaul of the current system for monitoring and holding to account MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, saying that “It is designed to scrutinise the work of George Smiley, not the 21st-century reality of the security and intelligence services.”

Reprieve’s Executive Director, Clare Algar, said: “The Home Affairs Committee is right to describe oversight of the intelligence services as ‘weak.’  Scandal after scandal has escaped the attention of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which consistently fails to provide proper accountability.  We need real oversight of our security services, starting with a proper, independent inquiry into torture and rendition – a promise which David Cameron made in 2010 but has since abandoned.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s Press Office on: clemency.wells@reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8161