Intelligence and Security Committee Report on Russia Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Intelligence and Security Committee Report on Russia

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Tuesday 5th November 2019

(10 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Christopher Pincher Portrait Christopher Pincher - Parliament Live - Hansard
5 Nov 2019, 1 p.m.

I am not going to comment on individual public servants. All I would say is that in asking the question that he asks, the right hon. Gentleman appears to be less a Member of Parliament than a walk-on member of a show like “24”.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
5 Nov 2019, 1:01 p.m.

In my time on the Intelligence and Security Committee, I have built up a healthy respect for the way in which we conduct parliamentary scrutiny of our secret intelligence agencies. Indeed, other Parliaments from around the world come to see how we do it. There is much in the report that I would love to be able to talk about here, and I would love to address some of the more eccentric conspiracy theories that we have heard peddled here, but it comes down to this. We have a highly respected system of parliamentary oversight which is trusted across the House. Does my right hon. Friend not feel that in the absence of this report’s publication, we have created a climate which has allowed some quite bizarre conspiracy theories to be peddled, and that it would be much better to publish what has been written in the way in which the Committee produced it?

Christopher Pincher Portrait Christopher Pincher - Parliament Live - Hansard
5 Nov 2019, 1:02 p.m.

Let me also bid farewell to my right hon. Friend, who has been a fine Member of Parliament for Newbury over the last 18 years. We will miss him: we will miss his intelligence, his care and his consideration. He wonders whether, by acting in a different way, we would reduce the propensity towards conspiracy theories. I suspect that the answer is no. I think that those conspiracy theories would find their way into the light in any event, thanks to some Opposition Members.

All I can do is to repeat what I have already said to my hon. Friend the Member for Wycombe (Mr Baker). This report requires careful consideration. It requires the Prime Minister to do his duty by the Justice and Security Act, and that is what he will do.