Tag: Andrew Defty

What impact has the general election had on the work of the Intelligence and Security Committee?

What impact has the general election had on the work of the Intelligence and Security Committee?

Following the failure of the government to publish the Intelligence Security Committee’s report into Russian interference ahead of the election, Andrew Defty examines the impact of the general election on the ISC, outlines the process for the establishment of a new committee and assesses the likely priorities of the reconstituted committee.

When will the government respond to the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on UK lethal drone strikes in Syria?

When will the government respond to the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on UK lethal drone strikes in Syria?

It is two years since the Intelligence and Security Committee published its report into UK lethal drone strikes in Syria. Despite a commitment to ‘respond substantively to any report by the ISC within 60 days’ the government has yet to produce a detailed reply to this report. Andrew Defty examines the government’s record in responding to ISC reports and the changing nature of its commitment to doing so.

They’re making a list: the inexorable rise of the special political adviser

They’re making a list: the inexorable rise of the special political adviser

The government has released its annual data on the number of special advisers it employs. Andrew Defty assesses the figures and discusses how the numbers have grown over successive governments.

The government’s handling of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s detainee reports reveals worrying tensions between them

The government’s handling of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s detainee reports reveals worrying tensions between them

The Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) is due to publish two reports on the UK’s treatment of detainees. Andrew Defty explains how leaks ahead of their publication are part of a concerning breakdown in the relationship between government and the committee, which has implications for the proper democratic oversight of the UK’s intelligence agencies.

Why is it taking so long to appoint a new Intelligence and Security Committee?

Why is it taking so long to appoint a new Intelligence and Security Committee?

For the past five months the Intelligence and Security Committee has been in abeyance. Yet its job of scrutinising the work of the security agencies is even more vital at a time when Britain is regularly attacked by terrorists. Andrew Defty (University of Lincoln) asks what is delaying the appointment of a new committee, and […]

Plagued by delays: the June election is bad news for the Intelligence and Security Committee

Plagued by delays: the June election is bad news for the Intelligence and Security Committee

The only two female members of the Intelligence and Security Committee are leaving the Commons at the general election, and the whole Committee will have to be re-formed after June. Andrew Defty says one of its reports has been rushed out before the election with the government’s redactions unchallenged, and a long-delayed inquiry into the UK intelligence […]

Improvements in turnout and more partisan voting: The consequences of embedding PCC elections in the electoral cycle

Improvements in turnout and more partisan voting: The consequences of embedding PCC elections in the electoral cycle

The first Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2012 are infamous for their abysmally low turnout and the second batch last week thankfully saw some improvement. In this post, Andrew Defty looks at the variation in turnout across the 40 PCC elections to consider the impact of embedding the elections in the electoral cycle, and […]

Proper scrutiny must not be set aside in Britain’s response to the attacks in Paris

Proper scrutiny must not be set aside in Britain’s response to the attacks in Paris

The shocking events in Paris have jolted Western governments into action, with the UK’s Conservative government seeking to increase and enhance security measures to prevent a similar occurrence happening in Britain. Part of their approach has been to announce the forthcoming introduction of new laws to assist the security services surveillance powers – a move […]

Fewer and older: Consequences of the decline in party membership in the UK

Fewer and older: Consequences of the decline in party membership in the UK

Recent years have seen an increase in membership of some of the smaller parties but this has not compensated for the overall decline in party membership across the UK. Andrew Defty considers the implications of this, from the reduced revenues to the key role played by party activists. Similar PostsEuro elections – previewing the election in […]

Andrew Parker’s BBC interview shows continuing weaknesses in how UK security services are scrutinised

Andrew Parker’s BBC interview shows continuing weaknesses in how UK security services are scrutinised

Last month, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker appeared on BBC Radio 4 to make the case for intelligence agency powers in advance of the forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill. Andrew Defty argues that while new surveillance legislation is needed, a robust regulatory framework will also be required to produce effective intelligence and a more secure society. […]