FOREIGN AFFAIRS – PRISONER ABUSE – 10 February 2010

Dr Julian Lewis: According to comments made by the great theorist of counter-insurgency, Sir Robert Thompson, more than 40 years ago, not only is prisoner abuse morally wrong, but it is lethal to any counter-insurgency campaign. I appreciate that the Foreign Secretary cannot or does not wish to comment on the particular case that is before the courts, but in response to the hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Ed Davey) can he address the question of what representations the Government made to our American allies more generally when it became known that waterboarding was being used?

[The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband): I am very happy to say clearly that the Government, as has been detailed in successive Intelligence and Security Committee reports, did follow that up, and not just in terms of our own system and how practices were developed. I think I should set out what happened in a letter to the hon. Gentleman. It has also been documented what did not happen and what should have happened, not in respect of an individual case, but in respect of training and guidance for officials, for example. That means that we are in a much stronger position today than we were in 2001-02, and rightly so. We always keep things under review, and the publication of the current guidance, which is before the ISC, will be an important opportunity for not only the whole House, but for the whole country to see how that is taken forward.]