Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s MP Angus Robertson says the SNP is continuing to take the lead on improving the Investigatory Powers Bill as it progresses through parliament

The local MP has received large amounts of correspondence from constituents across Moray concerned that the proposals are a fundamental attack on civil liberties.

The Scottish National Party has tabled amendments to make the security legislation more effective, proportionate and respectful of civil liberties. The amendments would ensure surveillance is targeted, based on reasonable suspicion, and permitted only after a warrant has been issued by a judge rather than a politician.

The amendments also seek to expand the category of information which will be accessible only by warrant, and to ensure that such warrants are not issued without proper justification.

The SNP’s Mr Robertson says the SNP’s approach to the bill addresses the civil liberties concerns that have been raised by constituents and that the SNP will continue to follow those principles through each stage of the bill in parliament.

Commenting, Mr Robertson said:

“Constituents in Moray in significant numbers have been contacting me, rightly concerned about the erosion of civil liberties that would occur if this bill were to be passed in its current form.  

"The SNP is taking the lead in ensuring the Investigatory Powers Bill is not rushed through without careful consideration - we recognise that the security services and the police require appropriate powers to fight terrorism and serious crime. We also recognise that these powers need to be updated to reflect current technologies, however such powers must always be proportionate, and in accordance with law.

"In particular, they must not be an excuse to attack fundamental rights to privacy and security of data.

“The SNP’s amendments are the sort of principled amendments which are required to make the Bill compliant with international human rights law, to bring the Bill into line with the practice in other western democracies, and to meet the concerns of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy.

“We are committed to tackling the exceptionally intrusive provisions of the Bill in order to ensure security policy is targeted, proportionate and compatible with Human Rights. The SNP will continue to work with other MPs to devise a bill that protects us from harm but also protects the fundamental rights and freedoms of all law abiding citizens.”