Video comment by former MEP and SBS Captain James Glancy CGC
Mail+ video – 16 July 2020
The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has statutory responsibility for the oversight of the UK intelligence community, including MI5, MI6, GCHQ and Defence Intelligence, amongst others. A very important body, so why on earth would the Government’s choice to chair the Committee be a former minister with a history of incompetence and failure? Fortunately, yesterday the Conservatives whips’ own intelligence failed, and the Government’s choice, Chris Grayling, was defeated by Conservative MP Julian Lewis.
Lewis has now had the Tory whip withdrawn, but his appointment is good news. It means that we will have proper scrutiny of the Government and UK intelligence from a man of extensive understanding of defence and security – unlike Grayling. And today he has already showed that he is not a Government puppet by announcing that the long-overdue report into Russian interference in British politics – which the Government has been delaying – will be out imminently.
Whatever are your political leanings, good governments rely on scrutiny and accountability. Just because they have a majority of 80 – oh, no – now 79, that does not give them a mandate to rule by decree. This rebellion is good for the health of our democracy.