Wednesday, 16 March 2016

My MP on the Snooper's Charter

Phil WIlson, MP
Phil Wilson, MP Sedgefield

I wrote to my MP, Phil Wilson of Sedgefield constituency, urging him to speak out against the Investigatory Powers Bill.

I didn't have much hope.  We have some history together, disagreeing on this and similar issues and he has lately stopped replying.  He did reply to this letter, however, although it was not to my liking.
Here it is:
Thank you for your email.  
I am currently attending a foreign visit as part of my commitments as a member of the defence select committee and therefore will not be in the Commons this evening to participate in the vote. 
However, I do support the principle of introducing legislation that can deliver an up-to-date and effective legal framework for the police and security services to help prevent and investigate serious crimes such as murder, child sexual exploitation, terrorism and locating missing people. However, it is essential that any such legislation must be subject to robust safeguards and independent scrutiny and that it must be transparent, necessary and proportionate.
The Labour Party will not therefore be opposing the Bill at Second Reading this evening but will continue to robustly challenge and improve the Bill in the coming weeks and months.
Once again, thank you for your email.
Kind regards,
Mr Wilson shows no apparent understanding of the issues, although I and many others have spelled them out to him several times.  The only way to 'fix' the bill is to scrap it entirely.  Improvements can certainly be made but they wouldn't address the fundamental problem.

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