INTELLIGENCE SERVICES – CONFIDENTIALITY – 13 March 2000

Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Home Secretary agree that no intelligence service can operate effectively if its former employees break their lifelong obligation of confidentiality? Given that the Government are pursuing relentlessly the egomaniac ex-officer of MI5, David Shayler, will the right hon. Gentleman at least acknowledge that some of the criticisms that the Labour party made of the previous Conservative Government when they pursued the egomaniac ex-officer Peter Wright were less than justified?

[Jack Straw: The House will excuse me if I do not quite follow the hon. Gentleman down the path that he invites me to take, except to say that I confirm that there is a lifelong obligation expected of staff, and I am glad to have the support of both sides of the House for the fact that that obligation should properly be enforced.]