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Highlights from the Prime Minister's remarks to the Commons about the treatment of terror suspects. Not verbatim.


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The reputation of the security services has been overshadowed by allegations of mistreatment of detainees in other nations. Terrorists and extremists are exploiting these allegations and undermining the UK's global reputation. The matter needs to be cleared up, once and for all.

We have the finest security services in the world. They cracked the Enigma code in WWII. They recruited Russian spies during the Cold War that kept us safe. They disrupted IRA in 1980s and 1990s. Every day intelligence officers help prevent the most dangerous weapons falling into the hands of dangerous states. They provide important intelligence for the campaign in Afghanistan. They do so without public credit. Many die in service and their relatives mourn without public acknowledgment.

Although there is no evidence of direct involvement of UK personnel in abuse since 9/11 there are a dozen allegations of UK agents being complicit in other nations' abuses.

Rt Hon Sir Peter Gibson, a judge, will chair a investigative committee, with Peter Riddell, formerly of The Times, and one other to investigate the allegations. The Committee will start its work by the end of the year and conclude within one year. Part of the Inquiry Committee will inevitably be secret. The Head of the Civil Service and of the Intelligence Service will give the Committee their full co-operation.

Also being published today are the detailed guidelines for how the Intelligence Services behave.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP for Kensington, will chair the Security Committee for the duration of the Parliament.

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Answering questions from Harriet Harman Mr Cameron said that torture was always wrong and information obtained under torture was likely to be "useless".

Tim Montgomerie

27 comments for: David Cameron announces independent inquiry into security services’ treatment of detainees, and appointment of Sir Malcolm Rifkind to chair the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee

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