End of Parliament Review March 2015 And Petition the Queen preventing those under investigation from taking their Parliamentary seats?
There were final child care protection questions this past week and important statement on Undercover Police but perhaps the most significant event was the attempt to depose the Speaker of the House of Commons by Conservative government Ministers. There was no time to discuss the Metropolitan Police self referring to the Independent Police Complaints Commission a total of 17 matters with six others under consideration with allegations covering Ministers, politicians, Judges, Police and other establishment individuals. With Parliament ending I also suggest consideration could be given to a petition to the Queen to prevent anyone under police investigations from takinmg their seat in the House of Commons or House of Lords and this also includes under ovestiagtion for participating in any past cover up. Aspect of new terms of reference of statutory inquiry also coinsidered
Home Secretary Organised Crime and Child Protection issues Monday March 23rd2015-03-28
7. Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): What steps her Department is taking to tackle organised crime. 
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Karen Bradley): The Government are committed to tackling the threat of serious and organised crime. In 2013 we launched a comprehensive new strategy and a powerful new crime-fighting organisation—the National Crime Agency—which are already making a difference. We continue to strengthen our response through the Serious Crime Act 2015, the Modern Slavery Bill and strategy, and the anti-corruption plan. We have also forged new collaborative relationships with the private sector to tackle money laundering and to combat online child sexual exploitation.
Sir Tony Baldry: The National Crime Agency has clearly had a good start, with 300 convictions in just the first six months. Will my hon. Friend confirm that the Serious Crime Act 2015 will ensure that the National Crime Agency continues to have the resources and powers to address serious and organised crime?
Karen Bradley: I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. He is right that the National Crime Agency has made a good start. We have looked carefully at where powers are needed to increase the weapons that it has in its arsenal, and the Serious Crime Act really assists the National Crime Agency and other police forces in making sure that they can tackle particularly criminal finances to stop the Mr Bigs keeping hold of their money.
Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston) (Lab/Co-op): One of the most serious forms of organised crime is child sexual exploitation. The National Crime Agency was given information over a year ago about 20,000 people who had downloaded abusive images of children. Twelve months later, only 2% have been fully investigated or charged. What has happened to the other 98%? With that kind of backlog of CSE cases, does the Home Secretary really think that this is the right time to cut thousands more police?
Karen Bradley: The hon. Lady disappoints me. We have had this conversation on several occasions. The fact of the matter is that the National Crime Agency, through Operation Notarise and others, has protected more children from abuse than any other agency, and it is ensuring that children at risk of abuse are looked after and protected in a way that has never happened before.
Damian Green (Ashford) (Con): Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the signal successes of the NCA is that it has made more than 600 arrests in dealing with online child sexual exploitation through the operation that she has just mentioned? Will she assure the House that this will continue to be a high priority, not just for the NCA but for each individual local force?
Karen Bradley: My right hon. Friend, who has considerable experience in this area, will know full well that the National Crime Agency and local police take this issue incredibly seriously. Bringing the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre into the National Crime Agency, as a command within it, has increased both capability and capacity to consider such crime and to make sure that we find those criminals who want to hurt our children and prevent them from doing so.
Maria Miller: I recently visited Hampshire’s cyber-crime unit and spoke to officers detecting online crime, particularly child abuse. I am sure the Home Secretary will want to join me in commending those officers for their dedication. Does she agree that we need to do everything we can to help police in this work and, in particular, to ensure that social media and other websites verify the identity of UK residents using their sites?
Mrs May: First, may I take up the point that my right hon. Friend made about the work of police officers in police forces, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and the National Crime Agency more widely in dealing with child abuse cases? These are not easy issues, and they do a very valuable job. Over the period of this Government, we have invested £86 million in dealing with cybercrime, and the creation of the national cyber crime unit at the NCA is, I believe, an important element in dealing with cybercrime. We expect social media companies to make it easy for users to choose not to receive anonymous posts, to have simple mechanisms for reporting abuse and to take action promptly when abuse is reported.
Annonimity of those arrested.
Meg Munn (Sheffield, Heeley) (Lab/Co-op): I am concerned about a recommendation in a recent Home Affairs Committee report that those arrested on sexual offences charges should be given anonymity. Does the Home Secretary agree that in these circumstances, these prosecutions are extraordinarily difficult, and that the decision should be made carefully by the police? Will she ask the independent panel inquiry also to look at this issue?
Mrs May: The hon. Lady raises an important issue. As she will be aware, there was a significant debate about this very thing early on in this Parliament. The Government have not yet responded to the Home Affairs Committee report—for understandable reasons, given that it has only just come out—but I was asked about the matter when I was in front of the Home Affairs Committee last week. This issue has to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. I think that an assumption of anonymity on arrest is right in general, but there will be cases when it is right for the police to ensure that the name is put out so that other people can come forward to report crimes by the same perpetrator.
Child Sexual Abuse March 24th Attorney General
2. Meg Munn (Sheffield, Heeley) (Lab/Co-op): What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the current Crown Prosecution Service guidelines on prosecuting cases of child sexual abuse. [
The Attorney-General (Jeremy Wright): In October 2013, the CPS issued guidelines setting out a new approach to child sexual abuse cases. Steps to be taken include the use of specialist prosecutors, the provision of dedicated CPS units to manage such cases,and the application of a new approach to considering evidence in such cases. In 2013-14, the number of child abuse prosecutions rose by 440 to 7,998, and the conviction rate was 76.2%, which is the highest that it has ever been.
Meg Munn: I welcome the Attorney-General’s reply. As he will know, prosecuting sexual offences is very difficult, and such prosecutions are particularly difficult for children. When the guidelines were introduced, it was feared that not all the measures involved would be properly introduced everywhere. What steps are being taken to review the process and keep track of what happening, so that there can be a proper evaluation and good practice can be built on?
The Attorney-General: The hon. Lady is right to ask that question. We do keep such matters under review, and as she will appreciate, a large part of the process involves ensuring that prosecutors are properly trained and encouraged to do what the guidelines say they should do. We will ensure that they receive that ongoing training and updating, but I think that the signs are encouraging. I think that we are doing more of the things that we need to do to ensure that child witnesses, in particular, are accommodated properly in the court system, so that they can give the best evidence that they are able to give.
Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) (LD): In this very difficult field, does the Attorney-General recognise that the Crown Prosecution Service must learn some lessons from its mistakes, but also that its independent ability to prosecute without fear or favour must not be called into question?
The Attorney-General: I agree entirely with my right hon. Friend. It is right that, where mistakes are made, they should be learned from, but of course, as he will appreciate, it does not follow that cases that result in an acquittal should never have been brought as prosecutions in the first place. That is not the way the system works; it is important to make that point. It is also right, as he has heard me say before, that regardless of what someone does for a living or their position in society, if a prosecution is appropriate, according to the evidence and the tests that are applied, it should be brought.
Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): Does the Minister believe that it would be better for the CPS to have clear guidelines? Should not statutory rape, which ends at 12 at the moment, be extended to a higher age, or should we even consider raising the age of consent to 17?
The Attorney-General: The hon. Gentleman asks some interesting questions to which, fortunately, it is not for me to determine the answers, but I am sure that he will appreciate that it is important that wherever the boundaries are set, the CPS prosecutes under the law as it stands as effectively as it can, and we must do all we can to ensure that it does.
Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con): It is clear from the evidence from Rotherham and the inquiries that have been conducted that what the victims of child sexual abuse said was not accepted; they were not believed by the authorities and they were not supported by the CPS. What measures can my right hon. and learned Friend take to ensure that victims are given priority in the system, and are believed and supported all the way through?
The Attorney-General: My hon. Friend puts his finger on one of the substantial problems here. It is important—this is part of the guidelines I described earlier—that prosecutors address their preconceptions and prejudices as to how young people who come forward with these allegations should or should not have been behaving, and how they should or should not react if they had been subject to those kinds of abuse. We also need to ensure that prosecutors challenge prejudices and preconceptions in court, so that in the presentation of prosecutions, evidence is called, where appropriate, to challenge those, and so that judges say what they need to say to juries to make sure that no one proceeds under a false preconception.
4. Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): What steps the Crown Prosecution Service is taking to provide greater assistance to vulnerable witnesses and to support them better in giving evidence in court.
The Solicitor-General (Mr Robert Buckland): The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to improving the experience at court for all witnesses, and CPS staff work closely with the police and the voluntary sector to ensure that vulnerable witnesses are supported through the criminal justice system. Special measures such as the use of intermediaries or screens in court can also be applied to provide greater support for witnesses who give evidence.
Andrew Bridgen: Does the Minister agree that there is a clear need for children and other vulnerable witnesses to have the ability to give their evidence away from court, to ensure that as many prosecutions as possible can progress?
The Solicitor-General: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend, and I am encouraged by the work that has been done in the pilot courts in Leeds, Kingston and Liverpool on the use of section 28 provisions to allow the cross-examination of children and young people away from court. I very much hope that that will become the norm as soon as possible.
Valerie Vaz (Walsall South) (Lab): In the light of the Eleanor de Freitas case, will the Solicitor-General review the guidance to ensure that the provision of support and counselling services to vulnerable people is not removed abruptly?
The Solicitor-General: That was a particularly sensitive and difficult case that, as the hon. Lady knows, was the subject of careful consideration and reconsideration. We must avoid a sudden cut-off of support and help. I know that police family liaison officers do a huge amount of work before and after cases, and I would like to ensure that that sort of work continues, particularly in sensitive cases such as the one that she has raised.
Pro Bono Work
5. Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall) (Con): What steps he has taken to promote pro bono work among members of the legal profession.
The Solicitor-General (Mr Robert Buckland): The Attorney-General and I are the pro bono champions for the Government, and we are helped in this work by two pro bono co-ordinating committees, which bring together the leading organisations dedicated to the delivery of pro bono legal representation, both here and abroad. We took part in a wide range of events during national pro bono week last November, and we will take part in further events this year.
Sheryll Murray: What assistance can my hon. and learned Friend offer constituents of mine on limited incomes to get legal advice that they need?
gives information on a wide range of organisations that offer pro bono legal assistance. Of course, the local citizens advice bureau is a very good gateway through which her constituents can obtain more specialist legal services.
7. Mark Pawsey (Rugby) (Con): What recent steps the Crown Prosecution Service has taken to ensure that prosecutors are able to prosecute cases of domestic abuse more effectively. 
The Solicitor-General (Mr Robert Buckland): The Director of Public Prosecutions has announced new guidance on the handling of cases of domestic abuse, and it was published on 30 December. That guidance deals with the handling of all aspects of domestic abuse and offending, including the many ways in which abusers can control, coerce and psychologically abuse their victims. The CPS has contributed to the development of the new domestic abuse offence of coercive controlling behaviour, which was introduced in the Serious Crime Act 2015.
Mark Pawsey: With organisations in my constituency such as Warwickshire Domestic Violence Support Services and RoSA—Rape or Sexual Abuse Support—in Rugby doing great work supporting victims, the number of referrals across the country of domestic violence allegations is at its highest ever recorded. What action is being taken to make sure that more of these cases that are coming to light are being prosecuted?
The Solicitor-General: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his question, and I pay tribute to those organisations in his constituency, which do so much to protect women and families from the scourge of domestic abuse. Last year, the CPS charged in 72,905 domestic violence cases referred to it by the police, which is the highest volume and proportion ever recorded—it is a 21% rise from the previous year. It is anticipated that the CPS will be dealing with up to 20,000 more domestic violence cases than two years ago.
Senior Civil Servants: Accountability Cabinet Office 25 March
8. Neil Carmichael (Stroud) (Con): What steps he has taken to increase the accountability to Parliament and the public of senior civil servants.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General (Mr Francis Maude):The Prime Minister can now exercise choice in making permanent secretary appointments. We have introduced fixed tenure for permanent secretaries. We publish their performance objectives, as well as improved management information, to allow them to be held to account. We have revised the Osmotherly rules to ensure that senior responsible owners are directly accountable to Parliament for project implementation and to allow former accounting officers to be called to Select Committees.
Neil Carmichael: Will the Paymaster General update the House on the role that Ministers might have in the performance review of permanent secretaries?
Mr Maude: We have now instituted a formal process where formal input must be provided by Ministers to the Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service on the performance of their permanent secretaries. That input has to be taken into account as part of the end of year appraisal undertaken by the head of the civil service.
Mr Speaker: There are so many noisy private conversations taking place it is quite difficult to hear the Minister’s answer. Let us have a bit of order for the Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee of the House of Commons.
Mr Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex) (Con): At what may well be my right hon. Friend’s last appearance in the House of Commons at the Dispatch Box, may I remark that his five-year term as Minister for the Cabinet Office in charge of civil service policy for the Government will have truly left its mark not just on the civil service but on this House? His tenacity, commitment and sincerity are of great credit to him.
Mr Maude: I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for his kind remarks. I pay tribute to him for the way in which he and his Committee have held us to account for what we do. He has done that consistently and persistently. It has not always been comfortable, but that is what the House of Commons is for.
Protection of Children (Removal of Police Discretion)
Mr Barry Sheerman, supported by Sarah Champion, Mr Elfyn Llwyd, Meg Munn and Liz McInnes, presented a Bill to require the Secretary of State to remove the discretionary decision-making power afforded to police officers in charging individuals with rape in cases relating to acts of sexual intercourse involving persons aged under 16; and for connected purposes.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 27 March 2015, and to be printed (Bill 195).
(Unfortunatly parliament packed up on 26th and therefore there was no opportunity for Bill to be given further consideration in this last session of the Parliament 2010-2015.
Other matters of interest
There was an extraordinary end to the Parliament with the Conservative Chairman of the Procedures Committee denouncing the Leader of the House of Commons, William Hague, former Foreign Secretary, a lead camapaigner against rape in military conflicts and the Minister who approved the decision to restrict the Judge Waterhouse inquiry to investigating only crimes committed against children within the confines of establishments, thus participatipating in one of the greatest cover ups of crimes in British history, adviser, the Chief Whip Gove who I advised when he was Secretary of State for Education in January 2015 Party as dishonourable men
At 12.44 In the House of Commons Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con) said :Thank you for calling me to speak in this debate this afternoon, Mr Speaker. I am not ashamed to say that I admire you. I am a friend of yours. I have not yet seen your kitchen, but I hope to one day. You have done an enormous amount for this House and you have done an enormous amount to empower this Chamber. Mr Speaker, we do share a weakness and we both know what that weakness is: we both have a temper, and we need to work together to better manage our tempers in the future. I was quite cross with a couple of very decent Whips yesterday and I apologise to them today, as I did yesterday.
The report should not be about you, Mr Speaker, and it is becoming about you. I fear that the Government have wanted it to become about you. It should be about the position of Speaker. On 6 February 2013, my Committee decided to bring forward this report. We were going to recommend a motion that the status quo be retained. This was an amendable motion, so those colleagues who disagreed could have amended the motion and a vote could have taken place. On 7 February, I wrote a letter to the then Leader of the House, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), notifying him of this matter and asking that our debates be taken in prime time, so the whole House could come to an informed decision.
At about that time, circumstances meant that the Government felt unable to bring forward the report. We agreed with the Government’s view on the matter. On 28 January 2015, we met the Leader of the House and had further discussions about various reports, including on the election of the Speaker. I sent a letter on 3 February confirming the Committee’s firm and unanimous view—the Committee is made up of all sorts of people from all sorts of parties—that any vote should take place in prime time so that the House could come to an informed decision.
I do say to the Government that this is not, I think, how they expected today to play out. The Government were hoping that the party would be kept here under a three-line Whip for a party meeting and that others would have gone home. This does not reflect well on the Government.
May I just say that how one treats people in this place is important? This week, I went to the leaving drinks for the Leader of the House. I spent 20 minutes saying goodbye to his special adviser yesterday. I went into his private office and was passed by the Deputy Leader of the House yesterday. All of them would have been aware of what they were proposing to do. I also had a number of friendly chats with our Chief Whip yesterday, yet I found out at 6.30 pm last night that the Leader of the House was bringing forward my report.
I have been played as a fool. When I go home tonight, I will look in the mirror and see an honourable fool looking back at me. I would much rather be an honourable fool, in this and any other matter, than a clever man. [Applause.] ( Prolonged and a standing ovation)
This extraordinary courageous speech was justified because of a plot to force the Speaker to step down by in effect passing a vote of no confidence, fixing Conservative members to be present and saying nothing go the official Opposition until they hoped it would be too late to get all their Members back. William Hague before his retirement pretended and that is this kindest way I can explain his behaviour, that all they were doing is introducing a secret ballot so that on the first day of the new Parliament likely to be Monday May 11th a Member of the Conservative Party would be proposed to stand against the Mr Burcow who would win in the proposed and win a vote in a Secret ballot. The custom is that unless a Speaker retires the holder of the office at the end of a parliament in automatically approved for the next.
The Tory anger, and it has to be recorded not exclusively restricted (as was said by Hague in the debate) to that political party, is that the Speaker has bee too radical in his approach to reform and too zealous in protecting the rights of Members of the House to hold the executive to account, frequently in effect summoning Ministers to make statements, pressing Ministers to answer questions speedily and opposed to the Parliament The latest stunt presumable with Cabinet approval was the attempt allow the Lib Dem Treasury Minister Danny Alexander to present his |yellow box budget with the Speaker crying foul as Mr Alexander rose to speak. As with the vote on amending the Official Secrets Act the voting for and against merits close scrutiny.
After having praised the Home Secretary throughout the past year she was one of the Home office Ministers who vote against the Speaker as did Police Minister Mile Penning, local government Minister Eric Pickles, Health Minister Jeremy Hunt but not Education Secretary Nicky Morgan or Justice Minister Grayling
Vote with Labour were Conservatives (23) of these - Sir David Amess, Peter Bone, Graham Brady, Connor Burns; Christopher Chope, Tracey Crouch, Philip Davies, David Davies, Cheryl Gillan, Zac Goldsmith, Adam Holloway, Bernard Jenkin, Jermey LeFroy, Sir Edward Leigh, Jack Lopresti, David Nuttall, Jacob Rees Mogg, Sir Richard Shepherd, Martin Vickers, Charles Walker; Lib Dems (10) of these - Lorely Burt, Malcolm Bruce, Duncan Hames David Heath, Martin Horwood, Dan Rogerson, Bob Russell, Jo Swinson Stephen Williams; Plus Plaid Cymru (2) Jonathan Edwards. Elfyin LLwyd; Scottish Nationalists- (2) Mike Weir Pete Wishart Independents-(2) Eric Joyce. Jack Straw, UKIP- (1) Mark Reckless A number of Conservatives also abstained making the Government defeat significant.
It is also noteworthy Members of House of Commons who retired and took the opportunity to make a farewell speech were Sir George Young Conservative, Gordon Brown Labour Charles Hendry Conservative, Dame Joan Ruddock, Labour,. Sir Malcolm Bruce, Lib Dem, Sir Peter Hain Labour, Stephen O’Brien Conservative, Jack Straw Labour, Brian Bialey Northmapton,, Elfyn Llywd Plaid C, Brook Newmark Conservative Dame Tessa Jowell Labour, Sir John Stanley Conservative Nick Raynsford Labour Andrew Lansley Conservative, Frank Doran Labour Sir John Randall Conservative David Hamilton Lab Sir Alan Beith Lib Dem Dame Ann McGquire Labour David Wiletts Conservative Joan Walleyt Labour Mike Weatherley Conservative Eric Joyce Indeepndent David Health Lib Dem Austin Mitchell Labour Adrian Burley Conservative Andrew Millar Labour Angela Eagle Labour, William Hague Conservative. Among those who did not speak were Glenda Jackson and Father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell ( less than half those said to be leving)
Mainstream media has given little if any attention to the new statutory Inquiry onUndercover Policing which was discussed debated on Thirsday
(Urgent Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Home Affairs if she will make a statement on whether the public inquiry into undercover policing will examine files held by the special branch on Members of Parliament.
Undercover policing is an essential tactic in fighting crime. However, we have known for some time that there have been serious historical failings in undercover policing and its practices. To improve the public’s confidence in undercover work, we ust ensure that there is no repeat of these failings. That is why the Home Secretary established a public inquiry earlier this month—to investigate thoroughly undercover policing and the operation of the special demonstration squad. The appointment as chairman of Lord Justice Pitchford, a highly experienced criminal judge of the Court of Appeal, has been confirmed.
The scope of the inquiry, announced to Parliament on 12 March, will focus on the deployment of police officers on covert human intelligence sources, or CHIS, by the SDS, the national public order intelligence unit and other police forces in England and Wales. The inquiry will review practices and the use of undercover policing to establish justice for the families and victims and make recommendations for the future, so that we learn from the mistakes. Lord Justice Pitchford and his team will consult all interested parties in the coming months and will review and publish their terms of reference for the inquiry by the end of July. We should encourage Lord Justice Pitchford to get on with this important piece of work.
I thank the Minister for his statement. Will he pass on to the Home Secretary my request that she ensure that the remit of the public inquiry she has announced into the operations of the special demonstration squad includes the surveillance of the MPs publicly named by Peter Francis when he was an undercover officer between 1990 and 2001?
Is the Minister aware that Mr Francis saw a special branch file on not only me but my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr Straw), who was actually Home Secretary for four of those years? He also saw files on my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman), my right hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Dame Joan Ruddock) and my hon. Friends the Members for Hackney North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott), for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) and for Bolsover (Mr Skinner), as well as former colleagues Tony Benn, Ken Livingstone and Bernie Grant.
Did the monitoring affect our ability as MPs to speak confidentially with constituents? What impact, if any, did it have on our ability to represent them properly? We know, for example, that the campaign to get justice for Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager murdered by racists, was infiltrated by the SDS and that the police blocked a proper prosecution. Did police infiltrators in the Lawrence campaign exploit private information shared by constituents or lawyers with any of us as MPs? Will the Home Office order the police to disclose all relevant information and, to each of the MPs affected, our complete individual personal registry files?
It is hardly a revelation that the special branch had a file on people like me, dating back 40 years to anti-apartheid and Anti-Nazi League activist days, because we were seen through a cold war prism as “subversive”. Even though we vigorously opposed Stalinism, that did not stop us being lumped together with Moscow sympathisers.
Surely the fact that these files were still active for at least 10 years while we were MPs raises fundamental questions about parliamentary sovereignty and privilege—principles that are vital to our democracy. It is one thing to have a police file on an MP suspected of crime, child abuse or even co-operating with terrorism, but quite another to maintain one deriving from campaigns promoting values of social justice, human rights and equal opportunities that are shared by millions of British people. Surely that means travelling down a road that endangers the liberty of us all.
The right hon. Gentleman has put his point to the House very well. It is important that the country has confidence in the way the police operate, and that is exactly why the Home Secretary has instigated the inquiry. I am sure that Lord Justice Pitchford and his officials will be contacting the right hon. Gentleman and others in this House, and those who have left this House, to make sure that their views are known as he addresses the way he is going to take his inquiry forward.
In the past year there have been a number of revelations about the police improperly hacking into journalists’ telephone calls, and improperly breaching the legal privilege of suspects and using the information they obtain from doing so. The Government have been very coy about responding to my requests about the current state of the Wilson doctrine. If the allegations that have now come out are true, that indicates that the Wilson doctrine was broken in spirit, if not in the letter. Will the Minister make sure that the inquiry comes right up to date in terms of what it looks into and that it is drawn broadly enough to ensure that none of these risks exists today?
Let me say to my right hon. Friend that I have never been coy; it is an attribute that I do not really have. On the Wilson doctrine, it is plainly obvious why we have to be careful. There is litigation in place, and we need to make sure that it goes further. By the end of July, Lord Justice Pitchford will set out his remit, including the sorts of things that my right hon. Friend alluded to. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will put them forward directly to make sure that they are part of the inquiry.
The allegations in the newspapers today will send a chill up the spine of all those who value free speech, democracy and campaigning for one’s beliefs. Being investigated not for crime but for political beliefs is quite obviously unacceptable.
Almost five years ago, before the last general election, the activities of what was then the special demonstration squad were reported in The Guardian. Over the past few years, we have seen horrifying allegations, many looked at as part of Chief Constable Mick Creedon’s Operation Herne investigations. They include allegations that SDS officers engaged in sexual relationships, and even fathered children, then leaving the women as if the relationship had never occurred; used the identities of dead children for covert identities; and spied on the Lawrence family—the grieving parents of a cruelly murdered son.
Two years ago, the shadow Home Secretary called for stronger safeguards on undercover operations. There remains an overwhelming case, further strengthened today, for more safeguards, including independent pre-authorisation, for example by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners, especially for the small number of long-term covert operations, and then continuous, not paper-based, independent checks. I hope the Minister can respond directly on that point.
Now we also want assurances that the inquiry into the activities of the SDS led by Lord Justice Pitchford will be extended to the allegations set out in the newspapers today. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Mr Hain) said, this is an affront to parliamentary democracy—to the sovereignty and independence of this House. It is also an affront to the vital principle, the breach of which can be very serious indeed, of confidentiality between a Member of Parliament and those he or she represents. Lord Justice Pitchford’s inquiry must be extended to look into the allegations as part of the investigation into the Met’s special demonstration squad. I stress again that undercover policing remains a crucial tool in combating serious and organised crime, but it must not be abused.
In conclusion, Labour has for years pressed for much stronger oversight of undercover policing, and that is all the more important in the light of today’s shocking revelations. Lord Justice Pitchford needs to be able to conduct an extensive and wide inquiry, which, crucially, should have the flexibility to investigate any allegations about undercover policing, in particular those relating to surveillance of Members of this House.
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments and questions, and I think the whole House shares his concerns, but it is for Lord Pitchford to decide how he wants to take this forward. That is exactly why the concerns touched on—
What is the view of the Government?
The hon. Gentleman is better than that. This is a really serious inquiry. There have been concerns for many years, including when his own party was in government, but it is this Government who have established an inquiry as a result of the work of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. We shall wait and we shall work together. If Lord Pitchford asks for more, I am sure we will give him more.
Forty years ago, when I was president of a students union, I was visited by officers from King’s Cross special branch, whose express purpose was to tell me that they had a file on me. Like the right hon. Member for Neath (Mr Hain), I do not take that desperately seriously, given the circumstances of the time, but I do take very seriously the matter of files being kept on Members of this House and, indeed, members of the Government. As the inquiry takes shape, will Speaker’s Counsel or the Clerk of the House be involved so that if matters relating to Members’ privilege are engaged, as almost certainly they will be, this House will be able to take appropriate action?
I think that is exactly the approach that Lord Pitchford will take. If Speaker’s Counsel and the Clerks have concerns, they will certainly submit them, and, if they are asked, there will be full communication between them.
This is more important than just feeding our views to an inquiry; the question is what the Minister decides. I want him to assure me that the Government will let me see a full copy of my file. In the 1970s and ’80s, when I was at Brent law centre and then Liberty, I campaigned for the rights of women and workers and the right to demonstrate. None of that was against the law and none of it undermined our democracy; on the contrary, it was essential for our democracy. The security services do an important job and of course the Government should support them, but if they overstep the mark the Government must hold them to account. In the light of these new revelations, may I repeat to this Government a request that I made to the previous Government which was turned down? Will the Minister give me an assurance that this Government will release to me a full copy of my file?
I would love to give the right hon. and learned Lady that assurance from the Dispatch Box, but I cannot. [Interruption.] There is no point trying to shout down a Minister. Ultimately, there may be reasons for that. I was a counter-terrorism Minister in Northern Ireland, where there had to be redactions. I will make sure that as much as can be released is released. I give that assurance to the right hon. and learned Lady and I will write to her.
I have two questions for my right hon. Friend. My preliminary question is: will he, the Leader of the House or someone else tell us before I leave this place what has happened to the concept of Privy Counsellors exchanging information on Privy Council terms? Secondly, does my right hon. Friend agree that all of us need to have confidence, as do our constituents, in the integrity of the police, and that every part of every police force needs to democratically accountable and to carry out their actions lawfully? If the inquiry finds that police officers have not acted lawfully, can they be referred for possible prosecution for misconduct in public office?
On the latter point, that option remains open, but it is for others to decide. We have changed the law so that officers who have left or resigned during an investigation can be brought back. As far as I am concerned as a Privy Counsellor, Privy Council undertakings are intact and should stay so.
All I would like to say to the Minister is that he must have been a busy man to follow me to 5,000 industrial meetings in the last 30-odd years. I went to Grunwick, I did three pit strikes, I went to Wapping—I was all over the place. When I saw the man with that posh flat cap, which looked as if he had bought it from Harrods, I always thought he might be the agent provocateur present at the meeting. The thing that has always worried me—the Minister might be able to answer this, as well as whoever looks into this matter—is why do they only seem to pursue left wingers, socialists? Is that one of the reasons why all those paedophiles managed to disappear into thin air, and why Jimmy Savile never had his collar felt?
I am tempted to treat the question—I think there was one there—with the contempt it deserves. Having been a member of the Fire Brigades Union and been on picket lines over the years, perhaps they were even watching me in the funny hat that the hon. Gentleman refers to.
It must be shocking for the MPs involved to hear these revelations, but parents grieving for their dead children still do not know whether their children’s identity was stolen by the special demonstration squad. The Met police has openly apologised to parents to whom that has happened, but they have not put in place any means by which parents worried that someone had impersonated their dead child can find out what happened or be reassured that their child’s identity was not stolen. Will the Minister ensure that the Met police use their ingenuity to find ways, without endangering security, to bring such reassurance to the many people, including constituents of mine, who still wonder whether their child was impersonated years after the sad occasion of their death?
It is exactly because of the families of the victims to whom the hon. Gentleman refers that the inquiry will take place. I hope that its recommendations will address some if not all of his concerns. I say publicly to the Met police that, as well as apologising, they should do everything they possibly can to help the families, without endangering security.
In 1981, I was elected as chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Two years later, an MI5 agent, Cathy Massiter, blew the whistle on the surveillance, the phone taps and the collection of special branch reports on me. She cited political interference in the service and said that what had happened was illegal, and she resigned. In 1987, I became a Member of this House and took the loyal oath. In 1997, I became a Minister, and I subsequently signed the Official Secrets Act. How is it that surveillance was carried out on me for all that time? I want to know and to get the Minister to understand: who authorised that surveillance, and on what grounds was it authorised? He needs to answer those questions, because this is a political issue. It is his—the Home Office’s and the Home Secretary’s—responsibility.
I am leaving this House, and I can do no more than make these points, put in a freedom of information request to the commissioner and write to the Home Secretary, but, frankly, this affects all MPs. Even though I am leaving the House, the Minister needs to do something. The future Government needs to ensure that there is a proper investigation. This should never, ever have happened to Members of this House.
That is exactly why the inquiry is being put in place—[Interruption.] Labour Members say “Pathetic” from a sedentary position, but at least the Government are doing something, unlike the previous Government. I am trying to take a sensible tone on this. I have every sympathy with Members of the House, including those who have left it, and that is why the inquiry is being held.
The House is grateful to the Minister for attending to these questions and he is discharging his responsibilities. I think there is a feeling in the House that it is a tad unfortunate that the Home Secretary is not able to be at the Dispatch Box, but the Minister is doing his duty as he thinks fit and we acknowledge that.
I am pleased that this story has finally come out. As Members of Parliament we are in a position to raise questions with the Home Office and demand that the truth come out, but unfortunately many others who—unknown to us—were under surveillance do not have that opportunity. The question is one of accountability of the Metropolitan police. Who authorised this tapping? Who knew about it? Did the Home Secretary or successive Home Secretaries know about it? If they did, why did they not accept the Wilson doctrine on MPs, and why did they allow this covert operation to go on within the Metropolitan police? I am surprised that in his answer a few moments ago, the Minister said that the files might be released to us, but that they may have to be redacted for security reasons. If I was under surveillance, or the late Bernie Grant or any of my friends, then presumably the police were at whatever meetings we attended and recorded whatever phone calls we made. I think we have a right to know about that. We represent constituents and are in a position of trust with them. That trust is betrayed by this invasion of our privacy by the Metropolitan police. I ask again: can we have a full, unredacted version of everything that was written about us and every piece of surveillance that was undertaken of us, our families and our friends?
The hon. Gentleman raises a valid point. Members of Parliament can stand in this House and ask a question, but many other victims cannot and that is why the inquiry is in place. I will do everything I can to ensure that as much information as possible is passed to current and past Members of Parliament, but I cannot give a guarantee. No Minister of any persuasion—such questions need to be asked of previous Labour Home Secretaries, and I will do everything I can to ensure that the answers come forward.
Following the observations by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) does the Minister accept that if the allegations are correct, we have an extraordinary situation where I as Home Secretary, and from 1997 to 2000 the police authority for the Metropolitan police, not only knew nothing about what appears to have been going on within the Metropolitan police, but may also have been subject to unlawful surveillance as Home Secretary? That ought to be looked at, as should what appears to be the trigger and is much more serious: my decision—taken against a lot of reluctance from the Metropolitan police—to establish a full judicial inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. It is completely unacceptable that it appears that elements of the Metropolitan police were spying on the bereaved family of Stephen Lawrence.
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for the tone of his comments. He knows from his experience how difficult it is, and to realise that he was in the dark about authorisations that have taken place—that is exactly what the inquiry has to consider. Lord Justice Pitchford must have full access, and even though the right hon. Gentleman will sadly be leaving the House, I am sure he will give him all the help he can in future to find out why Home Secretaries, Ministers and police managers were not informed about what was going on inside the Met. That is what the inquiry must do.
Does the Minister really understand that this is a matter of parliamentary sovereignty and privilege? Action was taken by the police purely and simply for political reasons, and that is why it is so unacceptable. If the House of Commons was exercising its authority, as it would have done in previous times, the Metropolitan police commissioner would be at the Bar of the House to explain precisely why this was done and only Labour Members were targeted. It is unfortunate that that has not been done today.
We do not know if it was only Labour Members, and that is what the inquiry will find out. As the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr Straw) said, we know so little because so little was passed up the food chain to Ministers. That is why we need the inquiry to find out exactly what went on.
A few months ago, I met with Herne inquiry officers who confirmed to me covert surveillance of the campaign that Mrs Reel and I set up to find out what happened to her son, Ricky, when he died 13 years ago. We were told that we were subject to “collateral intrusion”. Two weeks ago, I tabled early-day motion 899 because I was contacted by Peter Francis, the former member of the Metropolitan police’s special demonstration squad, who confirmed in a statement that covert surveillance was carried out on trade unions, including the Fire Brigades Union, the Communication Workers Union, the National Union of Teachers and Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, as well as the families involved in justice groups, when all they were doing was seeking justice. In the Reel case, the family were simply trying to find out what happened to their unfortunately lost son.
Can the Minister confirm—and this rests with the Minister, not with the inquiry—that immunity will be given to Peter Francis, and other whistleblowers who have come forward, from any action under the Official Secrets Act when they give evidence to the inquiry?
The Home Secretary, the Prime Minister and I will want everybody who gives evidence as whistleblowers to have immunity. We need to get to the truth, and that is something I am committed to doing from this Dispatch Box—I am sure that I have the authority of the others to say so.
Why can the Minister give immunity to whistleblowers in this case but not give a cast-iron guarantee that he can give immunity to whistleblowers in the child abuse investigation?
To be fair, I answered a specific question on a specific point. The hon. Gentleman’s question does not come under my portfolio, but I will look into it and find out. He raises a valid point and I will write to him.
As one of the people under surveillance in the 1990s, I assure the House that I was never engaged in anything illegal and I certainly was not engaged in seeking to undermine democracy. On the contrary, many of the campaigns I was involved in served to reinforce democracy by engaging with people who otherwise thought they did not have a voice, notably the Stephen Lawrence campaign. I am clear in my mind that that surveillance could not have happened without authorisation at a very senior level, and I want to know who authorised it and on what grounds. Above all I feel I am entitled to an unredacted copy of my file. What happened is not just a breach of privilege, it is a breach of the privacy and confidence of the many people I have worked with down the years on the campaigning I did in the 1990s
I think I have answered the latter point and I will do everything I can to make sure that the documents are released. I have said that and I will do everything I possibly can. On the point about who authorised it, the right hon. Member for Blackburn was the Home Secretary and he was being investigated, which someone must have authorised. That is what we have to find out. It sounds ludicrous that that should have taken place in the mother of all democracies, and we have to find out exactly what went on.
When I was a very much younger MP, I spent four years as Roy Hattersley’s deputy, as shadow Minister for policing in the shadow Home Affairs team, so I knew a little about this area. Real individual pain and anger has been expressed today, but I hope the House can signal, and not just through this inquiry, a new beginning. Personally, I believe that Labour has always supported our police. I support undercover policing if it is properly regulated. I want undercover police to be embedded within the Russian mafia who have moved to London. I want them to stop child abuse. I want them to be able to find the people who do human trafficking. Let us get the balance right. Let us back the police to do a good job. Let us regulate them well and let us be more effective in chasing criminals.
This is probably the only time since becoming Police Minister that I have not stood at the Dispatch Box and said how proud I am to be the Police Minister and what a fantastic job they do to protect us. There are some who have let us down over the years and we must find out what went wrong. Covert policing, as the hon. Gentleman says, is vital to keeping this country safe.
Like many people of my generation, I spent far too many weekends in the ’60s and ’70s on marches and demonstrations against racism, the Vietnam war and many other issues. Many of those people have now become Members of this House. How do we know whether our names are in any of these files? Some 12 years ago, I was contacted by The Sunday Times, which asked me whether I knew anything about a document in a Stasi file with my name on it that had turned up in Berlin. I would like to know whether the Stasi’s British equivalent also had documents with my name on them.
No matter what wrongdoings have been done, we do not have Stasi police in this country—thank goodness. I have no idea why the Stasi were so interested in the hon. Gentleman. Some of us were doing other things in the ’60s and ’70s. As I said, I will do everything I can to make sure as much information as possible is passed on to colleagues in this House and to those who have left this House.
Like most of us here with a lifelong trust in the integrity of the police and security services, I had the very disturbing experience a few weeks’ ago, with the Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, of reading the report on Operation Tiberius. We were not allowed to have cameras or phones with us. The information in that document is deeply shocking. It is a story of decades of conspiracies between the police and criminal gangs. Knowing the case of Daniel Morgan from Llanfrechfa, who was murdered while he was investigating police corruption 28 years ago, and the failure of the security services to identify the way that Sir Cyril Smith and Sir Jimmy Savile were destroying lives, is there not a case for publishing the report on Operation Tiberius so the whole country can know the depth of corruption that has taken place in the Metropolitan police?
I would like to pay tribute to the work of the Home Affairs Committee—I know the Chair of the Committee is not in his place—not only on Operation Tiberius but on other inquiries in this Parliament. I do not know why the file was not released, for instance when it was viewed, but I will find out and write to the hon. Gentleman.
I still find it astonishing that undercover police officers entered into long-term sexual relationships with environmental activists, as we have heard, which included the fathering and subsequent abandoning of children. There can surely be no justification for that, nor for the kind of revelations we are hearing about today. Covert policing clearly has an important role to play, particularly in tackling such things as gun crime in Greater Manchester, but does the Minister accept the growing unease in this House and among the public at the revelations we are hearing? Will he commit to taking the action we need to get to the bottom of this?
I was just as shocked as everybody in this House to hear what some—not all, but a tiny minority—Met police officers were doing. That is why the Met police apologised and that is why I said we will ensure the Met police do more for the victims in particular. At the end of the day, that is why the inquiry has been set up. Lord Justice Pitchford will have full access to everybody he needs to see. He will decide the terms of reference, so that he will be confident that when he produces his report, we can have the confidence in the police that we should have.
One of my first acts when I became a Member of Parliament in 1997 was to call for the Stephen Lawrence inquiry to be set up. It led to a threat being made against me, which in turn led to special branch coming to my house to install security. Having taken that at face value, I am now beginning to question the purpose of its visit to my house. We are finding out through the media about Members who were under surveillance. Will the Minister undertake that every Member who was under covert surveillance will be notified?
I think I have given exactly that indication, but if I did not make it fully, let me say I think it is very important. Because of my former role as Northern Ireland Minister, I also have had special branch come to my house to install that sort of thing, although I do not think it was surveillance—it was to protect me, I hope. We all think the police are there to protect us, and that is what we should be doing.
The Minister repeatedly says we need to have confidence in the police, but as someone who was accused by a former Conservative Government of being one of the “enemy within”, I find it hard to have confidence. I also do not have confidence in the people behind the police. This investigation has to consider not only the role of the police but who they were being instructed by. This very week, the House discussed what happened in 1972 and the Shrewsbury 24 campaign. It is clear that the Government, the police, the judiciary and private business colluded to lock up innocent men. If we can clear up such things, it might instil a bit more confidence in this place and the police, but as long as people go on covering them up, I will have a huge lack of confidence that my colleagues who have rightly asked for information today will get it, and that will only damage this House and democracy in this country.
In my last answer at the Dispatch Box as Policing Minister in this Parliament, I will say at the outset that there are members of the police, from top to bottom, who have fundamentally let down the people of this country. They are a tiny minority, however, and we should have confidence in our police. If we continue to tar them all with the same brush, the confidence of the police themselves will suffer, and we and the Lord Chief Justice will do everything possible in this inquiry to ensure we have that confidence. However, we cannot continue to run them down.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You will have heard the considerable concern in the House and the impact on our democracy of these serious allegations. Given that this Parliament is about to dissolve and that some of the affected Members are standing down, will you use your influence to urge the Home Secretary to come to the House and contact MPs directly to give them clear answers about the two key issues that are unanswered—the scope of the inquiry, to ensure that it can get to the truth about these allegations, and about the transparency and access to individual files for Members? I apologise for making this point of order, but given the gravity and timing of this matter, with Parliament about to dissolve, I think we need far more answers directly from the Home Secretary today.
Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker.
I will respond to the right hon. Lady, but not before I have heard from the right hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr Heath).
Mr Speaker, you will have heard the exchange between me and the Minister. Given the importance of these matters for parliamentary privilege and future Parliaments and Members, can you assure me that, far from simply waiting for the inquiry to take place and looking at its results, parliamentary authorities will be fully engaged with the inquiry throughout, so that we can be absolutely sure that, where it affects Members and former Members, we are aware of the circumstances and take appropriate action?
Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker.
I will come back to the right hon. Member for Somerton and Frome, after we have heard from Mr Jeremy Corbyn.
Will the inquiry also tell us whether any authorities in the House were contacted at any time to put Members’ offices or phones under surveillance during that period and if that is the case who knew about it in the House?
Let me first explain that I am taking these points of order untypically now, rather than later, because they spring directly out of the business that we have just dealt with. On the last point from the hon. Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn), the short answer is that I do not know, but I feel that I should be made aware. Inquiries can and will be made.
In response to the right hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr Heath), I think I can offer the assurance he seeks. In response to him and to the right hon. Lady the shadow Home Secretary, I should perhaps say this, which I think is at least as strong as is sought and possibly stronger. I have no doubt that the permanent authorities of the House—the Clerk and the Speaker’s Counsel—will not wait to be asked, but will proactively take steps to ensure that the concerns of the House are fully understood by Lord Justice Pitchford and his team. This is an extremely serious matter.
Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I do not believe reference has been made so far to the promise made by Harold Wilson when he was Prime Minister that the telephone conversations of Members of Parliament would not be intercepted in any way. May we work on the assumption, bearing in mind what has come out, that this continues to be the position? If the position of Members of Parliament has been undermined in the way we have heard about today, we do not know whether Harold Wilson’s pledge continues to apply.
In response to the hon. Gentleman, I do not feel there is anything more I can add. There is a sense in which his point of order contains a rhetorical question. He has aired his concern, which is widely shared. I am not in a position to allay that concern today, but it is very clear that it is a concern that I share 100% from the Chair on behalf of the House. This matter will not go away
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. There are pressing reasons why this point of order has to be taken now; it is one I raise with great reluctance. I overheard, as did several others, an hon. Member saying that he had been instructed by a Deputy Speaker on speaking in the later procedure debate, including on what kind of speech to make. May we ask that whoever is due to chair that debate is asked whether there is any truth in the claim made by the hon. Member, in order to ensure that the impartiality of the Chair is preserved?
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I am not aware of those matters beyond what he has just said. Suffice it to say that I am in the Chair, and I am intending to remain in the Chair [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]—today and, I hope, subsequently. I hope the hon. Gentleman, whom I greatly esteem, will not doubt my competence or fairness in chairing such proceedings of the House as take place today. I am not going anywhere.
Further to the point of order raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper), will you advise me, Mr Speaker, whether it is within your power or the power of the House to call to the Bar the previous Metropolitan Police Commissioner to answer questions arising out of today’s debate?
It is not possible to do that without notice. Lots of things are possible with notice—in the next Parliament. The answer to the hon. Gentleman in respect of the here and now is no.
Petition to the Queen ?
Violence and abuse against children and vulnerable adults to include all those with assessed learning difficulties and assessed mental health problems.
The purpose of this suggestion is to prevent/discourage anyone seeking membership of the House of Commons and House of Lords
A new House of Commons will be elected commencing on May 7th, with the Crown seeking the person whose political party has achieved the most seats to form a government and to reach agreement on the new membership of the House of Lords.
My suggestion is that all those who are citizens of the UK and who want effective action to limit crimes of violence including sexual violence and abuse against children and vulnerable adults (to include all those with assessed learning difficulties and assessed mental health problems), should join together and formally petition the Crown head of the UK State, as is the lawful right, not to appoint any Minister to her Government or Members to the House of Commons or the House of Lords in our next Parliament unless that individual has also sworn an Oath or Affirmed that they have not knowingly committed or behaved in such a way that they may have committed an act which is presently considered by her Parliament to be illegal violence or sexual violence against any child or vulnerable adult, and that this prohibition should particularly apply to any individual presently under investigation by her Majesty’s police or her Majesty’s prosecution services.
And that the Crown head of the UK state instructs her most trusted Secretary of State for the Department of Home Affairs, and who is also a Member of her Majesty’s Privy Council, to obtain from the head of her Majesty’s National Crime Agency, together with the heads of all her individual police forces, national security and prosecution services tall relevant information so Her Majesty can instruct the Speakers and their officials in both Houses of her Parliament in appropriate cases not to accept the Election to the House of Commons or Appointment to the House of Lords of any such person until existing investigations have been completed according to due process.
It is my understanding that her Majesty is in a position as head of state to grant such a petition and make Order through her Privy Council although I do not know if this be done without the advice of her current Ministers given the nature of the Petition and its purpose.
Clearly if sufficient citizens, (and the invitation to join should be extended to all candidates in the General Election and all existing and prospective members of the House of Lords should be personally invited in writing to participate) are so minded to make such a petition, it will be possible to obtain the legal advice and support to draft and submit in the best possible terms to achieve success.
While acceptance and its implementation should be the goal of making the petition it is my contention, especially if mainstream media draws attention to its existence, that the process should persuade those presently seeking membership of either House to withdraw their candidature, especially if the new Parliament can be persuaded to introduce legislation that the penalty for non disclosure of having participated in the cover up of such crimes for an existing Member of Parliament or House of Lords, if proven. should be a minimum prison sentence without early release of five years and a lifetime debarment from holding any public paid office or receipt of public office pension.
It is my understanding that all present appointed members of the Privy Council, her Majesty’s Judges, heads of military, intelligence and police services together with her most senior civil servants who have been required to sign the Official Secrets Act as well as swear an Oath of Loyalty to the Crown will automatically continue in Office, so it is further suggested that the new Parliament should be asked to pass legislation which requires all such persons to make disclosure and declaration at the commencement of each Parliament if they wish to continue to hold such office of state under the Crown.
It is important that the focus of any petition should be to prevent anyone who has committed or is under investigation of having committed illegal act or to having willfully assisted in the covering up of such acts of having power in the new Government and Parliament .
Thanks to Colin Smart