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HOME AFFAIRS – STATEMENTS TO MPs ABOUT TERRORIST INCIDENTS - 16 November 2021

HOME AFFAIRS – STATEMENTS TO MPs ABOUT TERRORIST INCIDENTS - 16 November 2021

Dr Julian Lewis: I congratulate the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Kim Johnson) on securing this urgent question, but does my right hon. Friend agree that it should not really have been necessary for her to seek it? Inevitably, there are going to be speculations in the media about an incident as serious as this. No one appreciates the pressures on Home Office Ministers in particular more than the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, but can he please take the message back that, when something like this happens, even if there is not much to be said, it ought to be said to this House in the first instance, at the first available opportunity?

[The Minister for Crime and Policing (Kit Malthouse): I understand my right hon. Friend’s sentiments. As he will know, particularly with regard to the threat level, a written ministerial statement was issued yesterday. We understand the need to keep the House informed and to provide reassurance, but the issue with statements to the House is that they have to be timed at such a stage where we believe that the balance is right between the information that we can give and the likelihood of further speculation about a case emanating from a statement, and that is sometimes difficult. But I take his point about the implications and will certainly think more carefully about the timing in future.]