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National Security Adviser: Appointment

Volume 678: debated on Thursday 16 July 2020

What assessment he has made of the effect of the recent political appointment of the National Security Adviser on their ability to carry out the full functions of that role. (904862)

As with previous National Security Advisers, David Frost will be the principal adviser to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on national security strategy, policy, capability and civil contingencies. He will be supported by the civil service in the same way as any other political appointee, with openness, honesty, integrity and impartiality.

Yesterday, MPs stopped someone clearly unsuitable becoming Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Sadly, no such mechanism exists to prevent an ill-judged political appointment to the post of National Security Adviser. When will the Government stop putting the Prime Minister’s political fortunes before our national security?

I think that is very unfair to one of our colleagues, and I ask the hon. Gentleman to reflect on that. I know that following last night’s events he tweeted that national security should always be placed ahead of politics, and he is right. On that basis, I urge him, as a fellow Portsmouth MP representing that great garrison and naval city, and as a shadow Defence Minister, to work to build a constructive relationship with the new National Security Adviser. If he actually met him, he might be pleasantly surprised. For the sake of our city and our armed forces, he owes them the opportunity to build that constructive relationship with the person who will lead the independent review.