CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

INTELLIGENCE SERVICES – SUBVERSION – 6 December 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: What steps are being taken to investigate British Stasi spies, information about whom has been discovered in the Berlin Stasi archive?

[The Home Secretary (Jack Straw): As part of its remit under the Security Service Act 1989, the Security Service has investigated, and continues to investigate, British citizens and some others recorded in the East German intelligence service's records as having worked for the Stasi. Those investigations were, and are, handled in the same way as other similar investigations.]

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] I thank the Home Secretary for that reply, but unfortunately it does not accord with the information at my disposal on this matter, which I first raised in the House more than a month ago. My information is that the Berlin archive of the Stasi has not been visited by investigators from this country; Dr. Anthony Glees, the senior lecturer who discovered in that archive the detailed material incriminating Dr. Robin Pearson, the would-be university recruiter for the Stasi, has still not been interviewed by the police or the Security Service; and, as far as is known, the material that was given to the BBC, which formed the basis of the programme that brought this matter to public attention, has still not been examined. Is he assuring the House that that material has already been examined? If not, when will it be examined?

[Mr Straw: The House will understand that I cannot speak about the information available to the hon. Gentleman, but only about that available to me.

Mr John Bercow (Buckingham): A poor substitute.

Mr Straw: If this will reassure the hon. Gentleman – [Interruption.]

Madam Speaker: Order. I am afraid I heard that aside rather later than the rest of the House.

Mr Straw: I will not attempt to follow that, Madam Speaker. I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the records have revealed many leads in cases involving the investigation of more than 100 individuals.]