Cookies: We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. By continuing to use the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more.

House of Lords Hansard

Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Report: Fusilier Lee Rigby

25 November 2014
Volume 757

    Statement

  • My Lords, with the leave of the House, I will now repeat a Statement made by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister in another place. The Statement is as follows.

    “Mr Speaker, today the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee has published its report into the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. He was a British soldier who stood for our country and for our way of life, and he was killed in broad daylight on the streets of our capital city. It was an appalling, sickening act and it was a stark reminder of the threat we face from home-grown terrorists and extremists plotting to murder our people. But at the same time we should be clear that it was a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities in Britain who give so much to our country. I am sure that the thoughts of the whole House are with Lee Rigby’s friends and family at this time.

    When I spoke in the House in the aftermath of the attack, I said that we would bring those responsible to justice and that we would learn the lessons of what happened in Woolwich. The two murderers, Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, have since been convicted and sentenced to life in prison. And today this report answers the questions we had about what our security services knew about these murderers and the lessons we can learn to help prevent similar attacks in the future. I am grateful to my right honourable friend the Member for Kensington and his committee for their comprehensive report. It contains an unprecedented degree of detail on the current workings of MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service and GCHQ. I wanted us to get to the truth as quickly as possible, without a prolonged judicial process, and I think that is exactly what has been done with this exceptional report. Few countries in the world would publish this degree of detail about the activities of their security services. It reflects the way we have strengthened this Committee with new powers to hold our security services to account. And for this report, the agencies have carried out the same searches they would for proceedings in the law courts.

    Before I turn to the key findings, let me be clear that this is a very serious report and there are significant areas of concern within it. I do not want anyone to be in any doubt that there are lessons to be learnt and that things need to change. But on the key findings, I am sure the House will welcome that the Committee does, and I quote,

    ‘not consider that, given what the Agencies knew at the time, they were in a position to prevent the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby’.

    Furthermore, as the Committee says,

    ‘it is greatly to the Agencies’ credit that they have protected the UK from a number of terrorist plots in recent years’.

    As the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police says, at least four serious plots have been foiled this year alone. So much of what our agencies do necessarily goes unreported. They are Britain’s silent heroes and the whole country owes them an enormous debt of gratitude. But there are four broad areas where things need to change: in dealing with the delays in the process of investigating potential terrorists; in dealing with low-priority cases and so-called self-starting terrorists; on the role and responsibilities of internet companies in helping to keep us safe; and tackling foreign fighters travelling abroad for terrorist purposes. I want to take each in turn.

    First, the report identifies a number of serious delays and potential missed opportunities. The committee expressed concern over the four-month delay in opening an investigation into Michael Adebolajo following his return from Kenya in 2010 and the eight-month delay before Michael Adebowale was first actively investigated in 2012. The report concludes that an application for intrusive surveillance on Michael Adebowale in 2013 took,

    ‘nearly twice as long as it should have,

    and that had the original target been met,

    ‘these further intrusive techniques would have been in place during the week before, and on the day of the attack’.

    But crucially the report goes on to say that,

    ‘there is no indication that this would have provided advance warning of the attack: retrospective analysis of all the information now available to the agencies has not provided any such evidence’.

    The report also finds that the two murderers were in contact 39 times between 11 April and 22 May, including seven attempted calls and 16 text messages on the day before the murder. But again we should be clear that post-event analysis shows:

    ‘None of these text messages revealed any indication of attack planning or indeed anything of significance’.

    So while the committee accepts that these delays and missed opportunities did not affect the outcome in this case, it is, however, absolutely clear that processes need to be substantially improved. MI5 are improving guidance and training for investigators for its online teams and it is looking at new automated processes to act on extremist material online.

    The MI5 initial lessons learnt document has already been published in today’s report, and I have asked the Security Service to provide a further detailed report to the Home Secretary and to me in the new year setting out progress on implementing each and every one of the lessons learnt. In all of this we need to remember the extreme pressure our agencies are under. As the Director-General of MI5 put it in his evidence to the committee:

    ‘We are not an army that has battalions waiting in barracks for deployment’.

    Everyone they have is always out there working.

    Secondly, one of the most challenging tasks facing our agencies is how to prioritise the many and various potential threats to our security. This is incredibly difficult and it is not an exact science. During the weeks prior to the Woolwich attack, MI5 were running several hundred counterterrorism investigations and, as the committee notes, they are monitoring at any one time several thousand subjects of interest.

    It is obviously essential to focus on the highest-priority cases and especially those where there is specific intelligence that terrorists are planning an attack in the UK. But the report details how Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were both known to the security services for some time. Michael Adebolajo had featured in five separate Security Service investigations since 2008 and MI5 had put significant effort into investigating him as part of several of these investigations. Michael Adebowale featured in two lower-priority investigations. Now, while none of these investigations revealed any intelligence of an attack, the committee does recommend improvements to the processes for dealing with recurring subjects of interest, with low-priority cases and with so-called self-starting terrorists.

    This Government have protected budgets for counterterrorism and the security services and they have been clear with me that they have always had the resources they need. But the increasing threat we face, including from these so-called self-starting terrorists, means that we should now go further in strengthening our capabilities. So my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will make an additional £130 million available over the next two years, including new funding to enhance our ability to monitor and disrupt these self-starting terrorists.

    The report also makes clear the important role of all public bodies in dealing with the threat of self-starting terrorists and extremists. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill being introduced tomorrow will include for the first time a clear legal obligation on our universities, prisons, councils and schools to play their part in tackling this poisonous extremism. The new funding being made available today will include additional resources for programmes to prevent radicalisation.

    Thirdly, turning to the role of internet companies, the committee is clear that it did find,

    ‘one issue which could have been decisive’.

    In December 2012, five months before the attack, Michael Adebowale had a crucial online exchange in which he wrote about his desire to kill a soldier, but the automated systems in the internet company concerned did not identify this exchange. Further, when it automatically shut down other accounts used by Michael Adebowale on grounds of terrorism, there was no mechanism to notify the authorities. So this information only came to light several weeks after the attack as a result of a retrospective review by the company.

    The committee concludes that,

    ‘This is the single issue which—had it been known at the time—might have enabled MI5 to prevent the attack’.

    This is a very serious finding. The report does not name the company and it would not be appropriate for me to give a running commentary on the level of co-operation from different internet companies. But the committee is clear, and I agree, that it has serious concerns about the approach of a number of communications service providers based overseas.

    This summer, the Government introduced emergency legislation to put beyond doubt in UK law that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act applies to companies based overseas but that deliver services in this country, and I appointed Sir Nigel Sheinwald as a special envoy in intelligence and law enforcement data-sharing to address concerns that there could be a conflict between UK and US law in this area.

    Since then, a number of companies have improved their co-operation. But as I said in my speech to the Australian Parliament earlier this month, there is much further to go. We are already having detailed discussions with internet companies on the new steps they can take, and we expect the companies to report back on progress in the New Year. But the truth is this: terrorists are using the internet to communicate with each other, and we must not accept that these communications are beyond the reach of the authorities or the internet companies themselves. We have taken action. We have passed emergency legislation. We will continue to do everything we can. But, crucially, we expect the internet companies, too, to do all they can. Their networks are being used to plot murder and mayhem. It is their social responsibility to act on this, and we expect them to live up to that responsibility.

    Fourthly, the report also raises a series of issues directly relevant to the increased threat in recent months from British citizens travelling to fight abroad—so-called foreign fighters. The committee expresses concern about what it describes as a ‘deeply unsatisfactory’ response to Michael Adebolajo’s arrest in Kenya. It highlights the importance of tackling British citizens travelling to fight with terrorists groups in Syria and Iraq, and the report recommends further powers, including considering whether existing proscription powers should be amended to enable further prosecutions.

    Tackling foreign fighters is an absolute priority for our agencies. To be fair to the agencies and police, in the case of Michael Adebolajo, he was interviewed on his return from Kenya to the UK. Their operational effort has been stepped up, with more than 120 arrests this year for Syria-related offences, compared to just 27 in the whole of 2013. However, the committee is right to ask whether we need to give our agencies stronger powers to tackle extremists, so our Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill—being introduced in Parliament tomorrow—will include essential new powers to seize passports to prevent travel; to stop suspects returning unless they do so on our terms; and to relocate suspected terrorists to other parts of the country and away from their extremist networks. I very much hope that we can take this Bill forward on a cross-party basis so our agencies are able to start using these vital powers as soon as possible.

    Finally, the committee criticises the Secret Intelligence Service for the handling of allegations of Michael Adebolajo’s mistreatment in Kenya. This Government took the important step of publishing the consolidated guidance in 2010 on the obligations of our agencies and the Ministry of Defence in relation to detainees who are being held overseas. Of course, however, there are cases which fall outside the scope of this guidance: for instance, where people are entirely dealt with by overseas agencies, but where the Secret Intelligence Service clearly still has an operational interest. In these cases, the agencies are clear that they always seek assurances about the treatment of detainees and that in future, they will record the outcome of their investigations and inform Ministers if mistreatment has in any way occurred.

    Of course, it is right that there is vigorous oversight of this issue, so the Government will put the oversight role of the Intelligence Services Commissioner on a statutory footing. I will issue a direction under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in the coming days to formalise Sir Mark Waller’s role in overseeing the guidance on detainees. Sir Mark will have full access to all the material referred to in the report and will be able to examine the concerns raised by the committee about the Government’s responsibilities in relation to partner counter-terrorism units overseas.

    Today’s report contains a number of very detailed recommendations. We will publish a full response to all the points that are raised in the new year. We will not shrink from doing what is necessary to keep our people safe. The terrorist threat we face cannot be ignored or contained: we have to confront it. We have to equip our security services with the powers and the information they need to track down these terrorists and stop them attacking our people. We have to confront the extremist ideology that drives this terrorism by defeating the ideas that warp so many young minds. Of course, none of this will be easy: we will need stamina, patience and endurance, but we will in the end defeat this extremism and protect our people and our way of life for generations to come. I commend this Statement to the House”.

    That concludes the Statement.

  • My Lords, I am grateful to the Leader of the House for repeating the Statement made by the Prime Minister. Fusilier Lee Rigby served his country with courage. He was a brave soldier and his murder was an appalling act—an atrocity. Our thoughts today are with his family and friends, for whom reading this report will mean the pain of reliving his brutal killing. I also thank the members of the Intelligence and Security Committee for their investigation. It is right that this investigation took place; the report was the most detailed account of the agencies’ work ever published.

    The security services and the police play a vital role in keeping us safe, often in challenging circumstances. They do a hugely difficult job of seeking to identify those who pose a risk to our country. We should remember that, while the perpetrators of terror need succeed only once to achieve their dreadful aims, our agencies and others need to be successful every time to keep us secure. In so far as there are criticisms in the ISC’s report, they need to be understood in that light. The ISC’s report outlines in detail how the two men who killed Lee Rigby—Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale—were under investigation at various times before the murder.

    We welcome the announcement of additional resources, but will the Leader of the House tell us whether it is simply a question of resources or whether she thinks a better strategy is needed for dealing with those, like Adebolajo, who are recurring subjects of interest on the periphery of several investigations? In addition, the report points to the fact that at times there is a lack of co-ordination between MI5 and the police. Can the noble Baroness outline the steps that will be put in place to strengthen the working relationship between the different agencies—MI5, SIS, GCHQ and the police?

    The report also highlights the issue of returning foreign fighters. We will engage constructively with the forthcoming Bill and welcome the decision to reinstate relocation powers, which were removed three years ago. As the Leader of the House said, Michael Adebolajo was arrested, but the report states that his case was not then followed up. This is not simply about the powers but the way in which cases are followed up. Can she assure us that there will be a more systematic and rigorous response to returning foreign fighters, including mandatory referrals to deradicalisation programmes?

    The report underlines the fact that these two individuals, and in particular Michael Adebowale, were radicalised over a number of years, including by accessing extremist material online. Thus it makes a compelling case for an expansion of the Prevent programme. The report says:

    “The scale of the problem indicates that the Government’s counter-radicalisation programmes are not working”.

    Noble Lords will recall that we raised this important issue in the House before. How will the Government ensure that Prevent will receive the priority and resources it needs? Would the noble Baroness agree that we should consider widening the scope of Prevent so that in future people like Michael Adebowale would be included, and to ensure that local communities are engaged in the prevention of radicalisation?

    The role of internet companies is clearly of crucial importance. This raises two vital issues: whether the companies have a responsibility to draw authorities’ attention to issues of national security and whether the major US companies regard themselves as compelled to comply with UK warrants legally authorised by Ministers in cases of national security. Can more be done to encourage companies to flag up issues of concern where matters of national security are raised? The report says that companies may sometimes decide to pass on information to the authorities when they close accounts because of links to terrorism, but in this case they did not.

    Part of the problem in this area is that there are different practices by different companies and no agreed set of procedures. In the case of images of child abuse, there is a procedure in place for companies to take action and refer abuse allegations to the authorities. There should be much stronger procedures in place and a much stronger responsibility placed on companies when it comes to terrorism as well. Does the Leader of the House agree? Further, can the Leader update the House on work being done to improve our ability to get information, with a warrant, from companies based in the US?

    Lastly, on the issue of detention, we welcome the Government’s announcement that oversight will be strengthened but urge them to go further. For some time we have said that the framework of commissioners needs strengthening and this report demonstrates the value of thorough scrutiny and the ability to learn lessons. Can the noble Baroness confirm whether David Anderson’s review also covers strengthening oversight and the role of commissioners?

    This report is a stark reminder of the threats we face in keeping our country safe. The murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby was an appalling act of cruelty and depravity. We must learn the right lessons—and that is what the ISC report seeks to do. It does so thoroughly and with diligence. In seeking to put those lessons into practice, the Government will have our full support.

  • I am very grateful to the noble Baroness for her response and the manner in which she made her remarks on the Statement by the Prime Minister that I repeated. I certainly join her in paying tribute to Lee Rigby’s family and in recognising that this must be a very difficult day for them indeed. I also agree with the noble Baroness about the good work the committee has done in its investigation and the thoroughness of its report. Of course, she is absolutely right to restate that the security services and the police do a very difficult job in keeping us safe. We very much acknowledge that.

    On the questions that she asked, first she asked about increased resources and whether the security and intelligence services had sufficient funding. It is worth explaining to the House that funding for the security and intelligence services has increased in cash terms now by 5% compared with 2010 and they had a good funding settlement compared with other departments, including in the 2013 spending round where they saw an increase when other departments saw a reduction in their funding.

    The noble Baroness asked about the way in which MI5 and the security services are responding to some of the identified persons who might be described as peripheral risks or operating on the periphery. MI5 responds to this point in its initial response to the report and says how it has already started to take steps to improve in this area. We will come back again with more detail on this in the new year. She also asked about how connections could be improved between the different agencies and the police service. They are continuing to improve all the time and they are working well and seeking always to address any issue that should be strengthened.

    The noble Baroness asked about returning foreign fighters and the approach being taken to them. In its report, the committee criticised the way in which the particular person concerned was examined when he returned. The committee is right to say that we should look at this case by case and, indeed, one of the measures being introduced in the new counterterrorism Bill is to make sure that there is an improvement in this area and a more systematic approach.

    The noble Baroness also asked about the improved arrangements for deradicalisation. Again, in the new counterterrorism Bill, which will be introduced tomorrow, the measures we have already in place, including those under the Prevent scheme referred to as Channel, will be put on a statutory footing.

    As to the noble Baroness’s comments on Prevent funding and on how Prevent operates, it is worth reminding noble Lords that in 2011 this Government asked my noble friend Lord Carlile to carry out a review of Prevent. His conclusion was that Prevent should be split, with the money for integration—the more community-based measures to improve cohesion in communities—moving to DCLG, where that money now sits with the programme for cohesion, and the remainder of the money being specifically focused on guiding people away from extremism and terrorism. The money spent on Prevent has increased from £35 million in 2012 to £40 million in 2014. It is worth adding that in my noble friend Lord Carlile’s report he said there were cases under the previous Prevent regime where groups which we now consider to support an extremist ideology had received funding. Changing the Prevent regime by moving the cohesion aspect of it into DCLG and making Prevent more focused on tackling extremism and preventing terrorism was, we believe, the right approach.

    As to the questions that the noble Baroness raised about internet companies, I agree with her that comparisons can be made between the way in which the internet companies have improved the way in which they remove from the internet sites and images that relate to despicable crimes of child abuse. That was at the prompting of government. We think that the same approach needs to be taken by the internet companies towards terrorism. We are very clear that these internet companies have a social responsibility to take the necessary action that should prevent any kind of terrorism activity occurring. We introduced new emergency legislation in the summer, which I referred to in repeating the Prime Minister’s Statement. We are working very hard to ensure that that legislation is properly applied to US companies which operate in the United Kingdom. As I said in the Statement, Sir Nigel Sheinwald is doing much in that area to see that there can be progress. That is something that we will pursue with vigour.

    The oversight role of the Government’s adviser on counterterrorism measures, David Anderson QC, is very broad, and he is able to look at the threat response, the capabilities and important safeguards. He has done excellent work so far, and clearly we look forward to him continuing in his role and supporting us and helping us further in the weeks and months ahead.

  • My Lords, I endorse the sentiments that have been expressed by both sides of this House about the death of Lee Rigby. The report talks about the introduction of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill tomorrow. We are told that for the first time it will include a clear legal obligation on universities, prisons, councils and schools to play their full part in tackling this poisonous extremism. Why are religious bodies excluded from this provision?

    This is a serious report about significant areas of concern, yet we are told that the government response will not be available until January. What mechanism exists to ensure that the Government’s comments on the report will be available at the time the counterterrorism Bill goes through this House?

  • Religious bodies are excluded from the list of groups that will be bound by the Prevent measure that we are going to put on a statutory footing in the counterterrorism Bill because we are focusing on public bodies, and clearly religious faiths do not qualify in that area. That does not mean that all religious faiths do not have a responsibility to support us in preventing extremism and terrorism. Indeed, there is a wide range of different programmes, some of which are supported though the Department for Communities and Local Government. There is a lot of work going on in that area.

    My noble friend asked about the Government’s response to the report being provided in January. Today, the Prime Minister’s Statement provided our initial response. The measures in the counterterrorism Bill being introduced tomorrow stem from two things: JTAC’s change of the security status earlier in the summer to the increased level that it is now and the creation of the extremism task force, which the Prime Minister put together following Lee Rigby’s death. The counterterrorism Bill contains measures that have been put together after careful thought and consideration. They are most definitely not a knee-jerk reaction to the ISC report published today.

  • As one of your Lordships’ two representatives on the Intelligence and Security Committee, I welcome the commendation of our report by both the Government and the Opposition. I also welcome the announcement of further resources in this area, which is an important measure—although it is important to stress that such is the extent and pressure of the terrorist threat in this country at the moment that the prioritisation of threats to be dealt with by the agencies will have to continue.

    I also make the point that despite the criticisms in this report of the agencies in regard to this particular case, on behalf of the committee I would like to commend our intelligence agencies for the sterling and tireless work they do in protecting all of us in this country from the threat of terrorism.

    Finally, I raise a subject which has been raised before, which is what I call the capability gap in the agencies accessing communications from overseas communications service providers. Along with the measures that she has mentioned, I wonder whether the Minister would agree with me that in the end the United Kingdom has to use its influence with the United States through the exceptional co-operation on security between our two countries to find a final and lasting way to resolve this situation. Perhaps the Minister could say a word about what steps are being taken in that regard.

  • I am certainly grateful to my noble friend for echoing the support for the security services and the work that they do to keep all of us safe in this country. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my noble friend for his work as a member of that committee. I know that the noble Lord, Lord Butler, from this House is also a member of the committee, and there are other Members of this House who have been previous members of that committee.

    On my noble friend’s point about prioritisation still being necessary even in light of increased funding, that is right and will always be the case. There is a need for balancing prioritisation with not delaying the necessary steps. I quoted from the statement of the MI5 Director General in the Statement by the Prime Minister that I repeated. The security services do not have an army of people waiting to deploy; they have to use their resources all the time as best they see fit, and they are doing a very good job.

    On the capability gap regarding communications service providers, which my noble friend mentioned, he is right that we have to use our influence at all levels and I can confirm to him and the House that that is happening right up to the highest level, including the Prime Minister with the President of the United States.

  • The Minister will be aware that since the revelations of the traitor Snowden, terrorist groups—in particular ISIL—have changed their methods of communications, and have shifted to other ways of talking to each other. Consequently there are people dying who would otherwise be alive. Does the Minister agree that it is now critical that we move forward the Communications Data Bill, which was paused so unreasonably, because there is a very real danger that unless we do—and I am not exaggerating in saying this—people in this country will die who would have been safe if it was in place?

  • The noble Lord is right to say that the leaking by Snowden and the reporting of his leaks have had a serious effect on intelligence gathering. That is unquestionable. There is evidence that some of the terrorists and terrorist groups, in the light of that knowledge, are now moving their exchanges to different places, where the intelligence services are not operating, because they now know where they do and where they do not.

    As far as introducing the Communications Data Bill is concerned, in the summer we introduced the emergency legislation which addressed some gaps there. The counterterrorism Bill that will be introduced tomorrow will close another gap. This is an area where I believe we will continue to have to keep making progress. We are not ready to move as far as the noble Lord suggests at this moment. To be successful in introducing a Communications Data Bill, we will need a consensus, and we do not have that yet.

  • Does my noble friend accept that this report, which I think is the most substantial one I have seen from the ISC, marks a very important stage in the development of its role of parliamentary oversight of the intelligence agencies? I hope that, on reading it, one will be able to reinforce one’s confidence in the capabilities of that committee. It is very important to this country that it carries high credibility in the world and among our people generally.

    Having said that, the Prime Minister claims in his Statement that the committee had unprecedented access to detail that might not previously have been available to such an inquiry. Certainly, it seems to hold the world record for asterisks, deletions and redactions, indicating the amount of totally secret information that was available to the committee. Will my noble friend confirm that the report coincides with the announcement by the Home Secretary of the further Bill that will be introduced tomorrow—in the Commons, I assume. Will the government response be available to this House before we approach Second Reading, as I understand there is to be an accelerated procedure? Can she give any indication of when she would expect the Bill to come to this House? There is no question that it raises extraordinarily difficult issues. As the noble Lord, Lord West, indicated, the challenges faced by the intelligence and security agencies are massive and growing enormously. Some of the challenges will be revealed in the government response and we need the opportunity to consider it very carefully in this House.

  • My noble friend is a former chairman of the ISC and I pay tribute to his knowledge and assessment of the committee’s report published today. I share his view that it is a very substantial and unprecedented piece of work on the part of the committee. It shows that we were right to put the ISC on a stronger footing through the Justice and Security Act. The redactions in the report are in line with the process in that Act for redacting material and we have very much followed that process. I cannot confirm that the Government’s detailed response to today’s report will be available before Second Reading as I do not yet have the date when we will respond or, indeed, when the Bill will be introduced in your Lordships’ House. However, I will reflect on the point that my noble friend makes.

  • My Lords, are the Government aware that Fusilier Rigby’s murderers quoted 22 verses of the Koran to justify their atrocity? Therefore, is the Prime Minister accurate or helpful when he describes it as a betrayal of Islam? Since the vast majority of Muslims are our peace-loving friends, should we not encourage them to address the violence in the Koran—and, indeed, in the life and the example of Muhammad?

  • My Lords, British Muslims want strong counterterrorism measures in this country so that everybody in this country who shares British values, whatever their faith, is safe. That is basically all I need to say to the noble Lord.

  • My Lords, may I raise with the noble Baroness the question of people leaving these shores to join armed formations abroad—and, indeed, in the event of their return, what they might do? Is it or is it not the case that the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870 is still in force? If I am correct with regard to that, has any use been made of it in the last half century? Furthermore, have the Government given any thought at all to the question of incorporating any of its provisions in the new legislation now before the House? I regret that I did not give notice of these rather technical matters but it was only when she mentioned foreign enlistment that it rang a distant bell with me.

  • I regret that I am not able to provide the noble Lord with a comprehensive answer to that question. Probably the best thing would be for me to write to him.

  • My Lords, this is an important report and that importance is not diminished by the fact that the committee has only two Members of your Lordships’ House sitting on it. I would like some clarity from the Leader of the House on the extra resources that have been put in. The Statement mentions £130 million to combat the current threat over two years—I assume that is £65 million per annum. I had heard that the requirement to enhance the policing component of the response to the enhanced threat was of the order of £50 million per annum. What is the balance between the various security agencies and the police in terms of the £130 million? How much will go to funding for additional programmes to prevent radicalisation? In the case of the latter, who will be distributing those resources?

  • The overall funding for the security and intelligence agencies has increased from £2 billion in 2010 to £2.1 billion now. We do not give a breakdown of how the different agencies are funded for security reasons. The majority of the £130 million of new money announced today over the next two years will go to our agencies to give them new capabilities to monitor and disrupt terrorists—to deal with the new kind of threat that we are now facing from the so-called “self-starter” terrorists. Further funding will go to support counterterrorism policing and Prevent programmes to tackle radicalisation. My right honourable friend the Chancellor will set out more details of the breakdown of all the funding in the Autumn Statement. I would just add that we have protected £500 million of annual counterterrorism policing grant in real terms. There is quite a lot of information there, but the Chancellor will provide more in the Autumn Statement.

  • My Lords, my noble friend mentioned the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill to be introduced in the other place tomorrow. Can she give the House an assurance that we will not use fast-track legislative procedures to take it through this House? I declare that I am a member of the Constitution Committee. She will know that the Constitution Committee believes that fast-track legislation should be used only in the most extreme circumstances. We still have parliamentary time and this Bill will need careful scrutiny by all Members of the House.

  • We ought to draw a distinction between fast-track legislation and emergency legislation. Fast-track does not mean that the time devoted to scrutiny would be diminished in any way; it means that the time between stages would be shortened. Having identified that these are important measures to address gaps that currently exist and that by addressing them we will put ourselves on a stronger footing to deal with a very serious threat, I would say to my noble friend and to the House as a whole that we should not delay doing so. I hope very much that we are able to agree that we will follow a fast-track process, but, as I said, that does not mean that the Bill will not receive the normal length of time it needs for debate in this House.

  • The Statement today is extremely welcome. Will the Leader of the House give an assurance that servicemen and servicewomen will be given advice and guidance if that should become necessary in the circumstances?

  • My noble friend is right. I can only imagine how members of the Armed Forces must feel, knowing that one of them has been attacked and murdered in cold blood on the streets of London. Our advice to the Armed Forces remains very relevant and will be reviewed should it ever be necessary to change it.

  • My Lords, can the Minister respond to the points arising from the imperative she mentioned—not to delay in doing that which is necessary to assure the country? Without being in the least bit churlish about this, what is now being admitted is that which was denied by the Government prior to, and from, 2010: first, we are fighting an international struggle against terrorism; secondly, the measures necessary for surveillance by improving GCHQ are less than adequate, for reasons connected with the coalition’s internal politics; and, thirdly, control orders, which were weakened down to TPIMs, are now being strengthened back up to become virtual control orders. If we are going to be honest and realistic about this, we have to answer the question that the public will ask. How is it that over the past four or five years, when we have had a high threat level in this country, we have diminished security and it is only now that the Government are thinking of increasing it again?

  • What I would say to the noble Lord is that what we have done and will continue to do is to take the advice of David Anderson QC on the measures that we introduce. We have responded to the increasing threat. We have listened to the security services and the police service. They have requested additional measures and we are bringing those additional measures in. Clearly, an appalling and tragic event happened, and this report focuses on that. We all wish that it had not happened. What the report tells us today is that, sadly, nothing could have been done to prevent it happening and the two men who were guilty of that crime are currently in prison serving life.