[A friend sent me this. Jan]
The end is nigh.. MPs give go ahead for undercover agents committing murder, torture and rape
Bill ‘paves the way for gross abuses of state power against citizens’, critical Labour MP says.
MPs have voted against an attempt to formally ban undercover agents and informants from committing murder, torture and rape.
The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill went on to pass its third reading by 313 votes to 98, sending the unamended legislation off to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.
It would allow public authorities, ranging from police and MI5 to HMRC and the Food Standards Agency, to authorize agents and informants to commit crimes while undercover.
The proposed authorizations would not only be issued in the interests of national security or preventing and detecting crime, but also preventing “disorder” and in the “interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom”. An amendment tabled by Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer would have stopped the authorization of serious offences including causing death or bodily harm, torture, violating the sexual integrity of a person and detention. It was defeated by 317 votes to 256 on Thursday.
James Brokenshire, the security minister, told MPs that the bill would make authorized crimes “lawful for all purposes and no crime will have been committed”. MPs complained that time to debate the law had been severely limited, amid accusations that the government was rushing the bill through ahead of potentially damaging findings in the forthcoming Undercover Policing Inquiry.
Labor whipped its MPs to abstain from the vote, prompting a flurry of resignations from Labor frontbenchers from the left of the party – including shadow financial secretary Dan Carden, who resigned his post ahead of the debate. He told the Commons the bill “paves the way for gross abuses of state power against citizens”.
Chris (in the UK)