As it happened: Spy chiefs quizzed

Key points

  • GCHQ's Sir Iain Lobban, MI5's Andrew Parker and MI6's Sir John Sawers were quizzed by the Intelligence and Security Committee
  • Sir Iain said GCHQ did not spend its time listening to the phone calls or monitoring the emails "of the majority"
  • Al-Qaeda was "lapping up" the security leaks given to the media by Edward Snowden, MI5's Andrew Parker said
  • The committee heard 34 terrorist plots had been foiled since the London bombings of July 2005 and the threat from overseas was growing
  • Espionage against the UK was happening on an "industrial scale", calling for a cross-government response, it was stated
  • The chiefs said their organisations were subject to a high level of ministerial scrutiny and operated within the law

Live text


  • Gerry Holt 
  • Justin Parkinson 
  • Bernadette McCague 

Last updated 7 November 2013

Updates for this Live Event are currently disabled.