HOME AFFAIRS – VIKTOR MAKAROV – 21 May 2007

[Mr Peter Atkinson: I am very glad to have this opportunity to raise a somewhat unusual subject – a matter relating to intelligence and a former KGB agent who worked for the British security services and eventually defected to the UK, aided and abetted by our security services, and is now living in the north of England in circumstances of penury, which I believe shows the UK in a bad light.

The man concerned is the former KGB agent Viktor Makarov, who has now moved to the north of England. ...]

Dr Julian Lewis: I have read about this case in the papers along the lines that have been explained to the House. I suggest that although it may be impossible for the Minister to make a detailed comment on this particular case, he ought to make at least a general comment on the importance of the Secret Intelligence Service being seen to offer both protection and a pension to anyone who has risked their life, let alone actually been imprisoned, engaged in human intelligence operations for this country. Otherwise, we will send out a terrible signal to anybody who might be thinking about helping this country and its intelligence services in the future.

[Peter Atkinson: I agree with my hon. Friend, who has made an important point that needs reinforcing. ...]

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Dr Lewis: When the Minister [for Security, Counter Terrorism and Police (Mr. Tony McNulty)] talks about the possibility of complaining to the oversight body, does that simply mean that people can complain if they believe that the security services have done something against them or could, for example, someone who had loyally served the security and intelligence services and been denied a pension complain about that?