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Mr Andrew Jennings

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to what disciplinary action he has taken in respect of the senior officers who authorised surveillance of the then BBC journalist Mr. Andrew Jennings while he was conducting an investigation into police corruption in 1985;(2) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to the number of occasions in the last five years when surveillance operations against journalists by the Metropolitan police have been authorised; and what estimate of the cost of these operations has been made by the Commissioner in each of these years;(3) if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to how many Metropolitan police officers were involved in the surveillance operation in 1985 on the then BBC journalist Mr. Andrew Jennings; how many man hours and overtime hours were spent on the operation; which CID department carried out the operation; and how much the operation cost.

It has been the long-standing policy of successive Governments not to confirm or deny that surveillance measures have been authorised. We do not intend to depart from the policy.I understand that the commissioner has decided that no disciplinary action is justified against any police officer as a result of Mr. Jennings' complaint which was investigated under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority.