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Counterterrorism

Volume 710: debated on Thursday 7 May 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lecture speech made by Charles Farr OBE, director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office, represented government policy; and, if so, why it was made by a civil servant and not a Minister. [HL2945]

Charles Farr OBE, director-general of the OSCT, was invited by the Policy Exchange to give the third Colin Cramphorn memorial lecture on a counterterrorist topic. The lecture explained the historical background to and some of the thinking behind CONTEST 2, the government counterterrorist strategy. This had been published in revised form the previous day, 24 March 2009; the drafting was co-ordinated in the OSCT. It is not uncommon for a civil servant to explain the context for a specialised policy area of this kind. Home Office Ministers were aware of the invitation to give the lecture and had approved it. The text had been circulated and cleared with other government departments.