§ Mr. Vaz
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to have included in future414W reports made under section 8 of the Interception of Communications Act 1985, details of the number of interceptions made on telephones belonging to (a) hon. and right hon. Members, (b) leaders of trades unions and (c) elected representatives of public bodies.
§ Mr. Hurd
The annex to the report for 1988 of the commissioner appointed under section 8 of the Interception of Communications Act 1985 gave the information concerning the number of warrants issued which the commissioner judged could be published without harming national security. I see no reason to take a different view or to depart from the established policy of successive Governments of not commenting on allegations relating to the interception of communications. The commissioner said in his report he was satisfied from his examination of cases that the issuing of the warrant in each case was justified on one or more of the grounds set out in section 2(2) of the 1985 Act. With regard to allegations of the interception of the telephones of Members of Parliament, the position remains as set out by the then Prime Minister the Lord Wilson of Rievaulx on 17 November 1966 at columns 634–41 and reaffirmed since by successive Governments