Protecting the People, Patten and Politics (SDLP Response to MI5 Paper)

01 August 2006

The SDLP notes that this is the first paper produced by the British Government on MI5 ever supplied to political parties. By no means is it sufficient, but it is a basis upon which proper negotiations can commence. The SDLP notes the following developments:

 Acceptance by the British Government of the five principles set out by Assistant Chief Constable Sheridan designed to ensure the sharing of information between the PSNI and MI5, principles which can be developed and enlarged.

Acceptance of the SDLP demand that the British Government publish the memoranda of understanding between the PSNI and MI5;

 Acceptance by the British Government of the SDLP suggestion that the Policing Board’s human rights advisor would be involved in auditing these memoranda of understanding. We also note that the Government is considering the SDLP’s suggestion that the Human Rights Advisor be able to bore into the detail of MI5 operations to see how these are carried out.

Consideration to be given to an equivalent complaints procedure.

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