BBC BLOGS - Open Secrets
« Previous | Main | Next »

MPs under surveillance

Martin Rosenbaum | 12:08 UK time, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

How much are MPs monitored by the surveillance agents of the state? To what extent does their status give them some protection which others do not have?

These questions are raised by the row over the bugging of a conversation between the Labour MP Sadiq Khan and a constituent in jail facing deportation.

Some time ago the BBC used the Freedom of Information to obtain documents from the Metropolitan Police Special Branch which showed how the Police had monitored the campaign activities of the Anti-Apartheid Movement for decades.

One of these documents (from 1984) appears to suggest that the Special Branch did not keep personal files on MPs in the same way it kept numbered files on other named individuals of interest to it.

Another notes that Special Branch did not normally observe meetings inside the Commons, explaining why an exception was made in this case.

But of course the Police did monitor individuals who later became MPs. This report shows that in 1970 Special Branch had a file on Peter Hain, number RF 405/69/702.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:00 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Penyberth wrote:

MP's have only themselves to blame, they were the ones that passed RIPA without excluding themselves...doh. As far as I'm concerned RIPA legislation overrules the Wilson Doctrine. If a senior Police Officer BELIEVES that a conversation between an MP and an alleged terrorist supporter is evidence then so be it...but since when is this so called evidence admissible in court? The people who I feel sorry for are those subject to collateral damage i.e. conversations recorded inadvertantly, but there again what happens to those conversations?

This post is closed to new comments.

More from this blog...

Latest contributors

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.