New Forest East

DCMS – HUAWEI – 27 January 2020

Dr Julian Lewis: The Minister hinted at a possible way out of this impasse for the Government when he referred to the Intelligence and Security Committee. I am the only Conservative Member of the House to have taken part in the previous full-scale investigation of Huawei, and we reported in 2013. It is true that there was a statement in July 2019. I have just looked it up, and it was three pages long. Surely the Intelligence and Security Committee is the body that is tailor-made to represent the concerns of this Parliament through an in-depth study and report – both publicly and, in the classified version, privately, as we did before, to Parliament and the Prime Minister, respectively – so that we can come up with a robust, rigorous and resilient solution.

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Matt Warman): I pay tribute to the 2013 Malcolm Rifkind report; it was a thorough piece of work for that period. And of course my right hon. Friend is right that the ISC is one of many forums that could look at this issue. [Interruption.] For instance, the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs has also looked at our relationship with China. He is right, too, to say that the ISC as an independent body could choose to look at this, and the Government would of course welcome and co-operate fully with any such inquiry.]