Keith Simpson highlights Intelligence and Security Committee's wide ranging access to investigation into rendition.
I am a member of the ISC and I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would accept the fact that we are in the midst of a major investigation into rendition. There is nothing that we cannot see. There is no one within the Government or the agencies, past or present, whom we cannot question. The only restriction, of which the hon. Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith) will be aware, is that, by the very nature of our Committee, the questioning of the agencies themselves has to be done by us, otherwise they would not appear. However, I can assure him that our Committee is following every line that he and others are raising.
Of course, I take the right hon. Gentleman’s assurance—indeed, I have to because there is not an awful lot else that we can know about this. However, given the nature of the information that is now in the public domain about authorisation or the request for authorisation from the suspect who has just been told by the CPS that he will not be the subject of prosecution, that is not something that it is appropriate for a Committee of this House to be doing. It is something that requires to be done by a body that is seen to be independent of Parliament and of party, as the Prime Minister himself said in 2010.
I rise briefly to caution Members. This is the subject of a major ongoing investigation by the Intelligence and Security Committee, which is determined to find out who knew what and when. We have to be very careful about talking about “we” or any allegations that are made. Our Committee is following this through, with no fear or favour to anybody. The report will be published and then it will be very properly debated and questioned by the House.
I have not gone into any detail, but my right hon. Friend makes a point that I shall develop later. The Committee has yet to produce its report and, until that happens, it would be wrong of the Government to comment. We will, of course, respond in full once the report has been published.