‘Wilson Doctrine decision has particular implications for NI’ – Ritchie

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Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
SDLP MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, has highlighted the importance of the Wilson Doctrine in the context of Northern Ireland in a debate in the Commons. Margaret RitchieThe Doctrine previously acted as a bar to intelligence services intercepting MP communications without their knowledge. An investigatory Powers Tribunal has subsequently ruled that the doctrine cannot be relied upon. Speaking after the debate, Ritchie said, “The debate drew cross-party support for the principle of MPs’ communications being protected against interception. “This is particularly pertinent in Northern Ireland when MPs may receive information from constituents that require representation or investigation in the context of our history of conflict. “It also comes against the backdrop of the British Government’s proposed Legacy Bill which would prevent onward disclosure of information to victims and survivors about what happened to their loved ones for national security reasons. There is a clear and disproportionate bias toward security services. She added, “The lives of ordinary, decent constituents could be put at risk as a direct result of such interceptions discussed yesterday and this must be taken into account by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.”
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