Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Jack Straw's bug inquiry is late, are you surprised?

The report into the bugging of Labour MP Sadiq Khan and his constituent - terror suspect Babar Ahmad, is late. Chief Surveillance Commissioner Sir Christopher Rose was to carry out an investigation and he hoped to report his findings to the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and the Justice Secretary within two weeks of the 4th of February. Jack Straw told the House:

The chief surveillance commissioner, Sir Christopher Rose, has agreed to conduct an inquiry with the following terms of reference:

To investigate the circumstances relating to the visits to Babar Ahmad at HMP Woodhill by Sadiq Khan MP in May 2005 and June 2006, to establish whether the visits were subject to any form of surveillance and if so by whose authority and with whose knowledge, and to report his findings to the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and to me as “the Justice Secretary.

The inquiry will of its nature be fact-finding. Sir Christopher has told me that his aim is to conduct the inquiry as quickly as possible, but consistent with the thoroughness required. He says that he will do his best to complete his task within two weeks. A further statement will be made to the House once we have received and have been able to consider his findings.
Two weeks have passed and there's no sign of the report. Obviously it's possible that Sir Christopher may need more time. However it's also possible that the report is complete and Jack, Jacqui and Gordon are waiting for a suitable hole to bury it in. A hole just like the Northern Rock hole that the draft WMD dossier was dropped into, days before it was officially due to be released. Or am I just being cynical?

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