Easington MP Grahame Morris voted against the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill.

Mr Morris said: “You do not protect National Security by sacrificing civil liberties.

The Bill currently is a blank cheque to the Police and Intelligence Services without sufficient safeguards or limits on what criminal activity they would permit in the course of an investigation.

We need to give our Police and Security Services the tools they need to do their vital work, and this includes a legal framework that protects them and the public.

There are no circumstances in which murder, torture or sexual assault are permissible for the investigation and disruption of criminal activity. This should be made clear in the Bill, by adopting a public limit on what can be authorised, as they do in other jurisdictions such as Canada.”

On spying on Trade Union activities:

“This government is openly hostile to Trade Unions. Despite the UK’s restrictive Trade Union laws, the government have made it more difficult for workers to organise and campaign for their rights.

This Bill threatens further State intrusion on legitimate Trade Union activity.

The Miners Strike is an example of the State’s abuse of power, restricting civil liberties, perverting the course of justice and covering up official wrongdoing.

The government need to state within the Bill that the grounds for authorisation in the ‘interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom’, does not include Trade Union activity.”

On oversight and scrutiny

“These powers are not to be used in the heat of the moment. This Bill cannot be a licence to kill and commit crime without consequence.

To ensure these powers are not abused, the government should make it clear that judicial consent would be required in advance of an offence being carried out. Otherwise, this Bill would permit lawlessness for those who are meant to uphold the rule of law in our society.”

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