Tag Archives: Home Secretary

Momentum Recruitment works alongside SIA to support strategy drive on key transformation project

Momentum Recruitment is working alongside the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to support the Regulator’s recruitment strategy across a key transformation project.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is continually improving the services it delivers to the private security industry. As part of these improvements, the SIA is modernising its licensing systems and developing new streamlined processes for SIA licence applicants, licence holders and security businesses.

The SIA is working with Momentum Recruitment

The SIA is working with Momentum Recruitment

Those improved licensing services will be more flexible and introduce new online facilities.

Subsequently, via Momentum Security the Regulator is now interested in speaking to candidates for the following roles:

  • ICT Solution Architect
  • Senior Business Analyst
  • Business Application Analyst
  • Junior Business Analyst

For a confidential discussion on any of the above roles contact Kelvyn Pearce on (telephone) 0208 246 4222 or via e-mail at: kelvynp@momentumsecurity.co.uk

Established as a security recruitment specialist, Momentum Recruitment (www.momentumrecruit.com) works in partnership with organisations across the security industry

The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry. The SIA is an independent body reporting to the Home Secretary under the Terms and Conditions of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Its mission is to regulate the private security industry effectively, reduce criminality, raise standards and recognise quality service.

For further information visit: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk

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RUSI set to launch Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has announced the creation of a new Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies. The Centre will focus on the fields of financial crime, threat finance and financial intelligence.

Organised crime costs the United Kingdom no less than £24 billion per annum. Along with the impact of financial crime on the UK from both domestic and international sources, tackling threat finance is also a key security priority of the UK and international community (as illustrated by the efforts being undertaken to undermine the financial capabilities of ISIS).

In all of this work, partnership engagement between the public and private sectors can significantly enhance efforts in this field.

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Michael Clarke (RUSI’s director general) said: “The Centre is another example of RUSI being at the cutting edge of research on security issues. We add analytical value to policy studies. This new Centre will be a critical link between finance and Government and I welcome Tom Keatinge to the Institute. His experience will further strengthen our expertise on terrorism, organised crime and cyber security.”

Keatinge, who will head up the new Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, is a former managing director in the Financial Institutions Group and head of European public sector client coverage at JP Morgan.

Professor Michael Clarke: director general at RUSI

Professor Michael Clarke: director general at RUSI

Understanding of criminal threats

Donald Toon, director of the Economic Crime Command at the National Crime Agency, said: “Strong academic research can add substantially to our understanding of criminal threats and help shape an effective response from law enforcement, regulators and the private sector alike. I very much welcome this initiative from RUSI which promises to provide a focal point for research into the problems around financial crime.”

John Cusack, global head of financial crime compliance at Standard Chartered, added: “I’m delighted that RUSI has decided to establish a new Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies. The Centre is set to provide valuable contributions and be seen as a credible partner for all in the private or public sectors who wish to advance the debate and contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency around financial crime solving.”

Matthew Allen, director of financial crime at the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), commented: “A key part of identifying and stopping crime networks centres on understanding how they operate. This new Centre will provide the sort of vital insight that can help target responses and close in on the criminals. The BBA looks forward to working closely with RUSI on this initiative in order to help protect customers and ensure a safe financial system.”

Much-needed research focus

Based at RUSI, the Centre will comprise a dedicated team recruited from across finance, law enforcement and academia. The formal launch takes place at an event in the New Year.

The Centre will be based within the National Security and Resilience Studies Group at RUSI.

“The Centre will bring much-needed research focus and capacity to support the work of Her Majesty’s Government, other international Governmental partners and the private sector in addressing the challenges posed by financial crime and illicit finance in all of its forms,” explained Tom Keatinge.

*RUSI is an independent Think Tank for defence and security. A unique institution founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, the organisation embodies nearly two centuries of forward-thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters

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MPs unite behind counter-terror legislation amendment opposing Temporary Exclusion Orders

Following the introduction of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill by Home Secretary Theresa May, a cross-party amendment has now been tabled opposing the Government’s proposed Temporary Exclusion Orders.

According to fundamental rights and freedoms concern Liberty, Temporary Exclusion Orders (TEOs) would effectively exile British citizens by revoking their passports when outside of the UK and risk exposing them to torture or possibly delivering them into the hands of terror factions.

The proposed amendment to the Bill, drafted by Liberty, would replace TEOs with a Notification and Managed Return Order (NMRO). These would allow the Home Secretary to require airlines and other carriers to notify her of the return plans of those whom she suspected of terrorism abroad. The authorities could then use their existing powers against a suspect when they return to the UK.

Crucially, the Home Secretary would not have the power to revoke passports while individuals are outside of the country.

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, commented: “Instead of abandoning British citizens abroad to the possibility of torture or further radicalisation, shouldn’t we deal with them within the rule of law? This amendment would put some much-needed common sense into this counter-productive and illiberal Bill. We urge Parliamentarians to support it.”

The amendment is supported by the Labour Party’s front bench and the Green Party.

TEOs – and Liberty’s suggested amendment – were debated on the Second Day of Committee Stage of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill on Monday 15 December.

Speaking out against the Government’s proposals

A number of MPs have already spoken out against the Home Secretary’s proposals.

At Second Reading, Sir Menzies Campbell MP said: “I confess that I’m by no means convinced of the legality of what is being suggested under TEOs. What’s the position of someone who declines to accept conditions of return and who is not subject to deportation by the country in which they temporarily find themselves? Are they not de facto stateless in such circumstances?”

Also during Second Reading, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP pointed out: “It’s a fundamental principle of the common law in this country that an individual, unconvicted – the presumption of innocence applies – should be free to reside in his or her own land. The principle of exile, as a judicial or even administrative tool, has not been tolerated in this country since the late 17th Century. Even if exclusion is on a temporary basis, what’s being proposed is a draconian and unusual power being taken by the State. The point has been made that the proposal could be in breach of our international legal obligations by rendering a person stateless.”

Chris Bryant MP said: “TEOs would, in effect, result in the exile – albeit short-term and temporary – of British citizens, in many cases to other countries. All history suggests that such action further radicalises people and makes them more dangerous enemies to this country.”

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Home Secretary Theresa May introduces Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill

Home Secretary Theresa May has introduced “urgently-needed legislation” which will give the UK some of the toughest powers in the world to tackle the increasing threat from international terrorism.

According to the Home Office, the all-new Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill will bolster the UK’s already considerable armoury of powers to disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to fight, reduce the risks they pose on their return and combat the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism.

The collapse of Syria, the emergence of ISIL and ongoing instability in Iraq present significant dangers not just in the Middle East but also in Britain and across the West. Many of the 500 British citizens who have travelled to Syria and Iraq have joined terrorist organisations alongside foreign fighters from Europe and further afield.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

The Bill, which will be enacted at the earliest opportunity, will disrupt those intending to travel by:

*Providing the police with a temporary power to seize a passport at the border from individuals of concern

*Creating a Temporary Exclusion Order that will control the return to the UK of a British citizen suspected of involvement in terrorist activity abroad

*Enhancing the UK’s border security by toughening transport security arrangements around passenger data, ‘No fly’ lists and screening measures

Enhancement of existing terrorism prevention and investigation measures

To deal with those returning to or already in the UK, the Government is:

*Enhancing existing terrorism prevention and investigation measures, including the introduction of stronger locational constraints and a power requiring individuals to attend meetings with the authorities as part of their ongoing management

To support those at serious risk of succumbing to radicalisation, the Government is:

*Creating a general duty on a range of bodies to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism

*Putting Channel – the voluntary programme for people at risk of radicalisation – on a statutory basis

To help disrupt the wider activities of these terrorist organisations, the Bill is:

*Enhancing vital investigative powers by requiring communications service providers to retain additional information in order to attribute an Internet Protocol address to a specific individual

*Amending existing law to ensure that UK-based insurance firms cannot reimburse the payment of terrorist ransoms

Use of these powers – which are consistent with all of the UK’s existing international legal obligations – will be subject to stringent safeguards. These include appropriate legal thresholds, judicial oversight of certain measures and a power to create a Privacy and Civil Liberties Board designed to support the work of David Anderson QC, the current Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

Removal of terrorism-related material

The Bill will sit alongside the existing range of tools already used extensively to combat the terrorist threat, including powers to withdraw the passports of British citizens, bar foreign nationals from re-entering the UK and strip British citizenship from those who have dual nationality.

The Government is also working with the Internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas. Since February 2010, the Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has taken down more than 65,000 pieces of unlawful terrorist-related content.

Speaking about the new Bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “We’re in the middle of a generational struggle against a deadly terrorist ideology. These powers are essential to keep up with the very serious and rapidly changing threats we face. In an open and free society, we can never entirely eliminate the threat from terrorism but we must do everything possible in line with our shared values to reduce the risks posed by our enemies.”

The Home Secretary added: “This Bill includes a considered and targeted set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger by ensuring we have the powers we need to defend ourselves.”

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Shami Chakrabarti: director of Liberty

Responding to the Home Secretary’s announcement that the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill will oblige Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to retain information linking IP addresses with individual users, Liberty’s director Shami Chakrabarti commented: “There’s no problem with the targeted investigation of terrorist suspects, including where required the linking of apparently anonymous communications to a particular person. However, every Government proposal of the last so many years has been about blanket sur‎veillance of the entire population. The Snowden revelations demonstrate that they were even prepared to act outside the law and without Parliamentary consent. Forgive us if we look for the devil in the detail of this new Bill.”

Big Brother Watch director Emma Carr added: “There are key issues to be addressed with these IP-based proposals. For example, there are questions over whether or not this will be technically feasible. Proper safeguards must be introduced to ensure that these techniques are used transparently, that there’s a proper level of authorisation and that the oversight and redress mechanisms can function effectively. Also, if such a measure is introduced, time should then be allowed to ensure that its effectiveness in relation to law enforcement investigations can be evaluated with due care and transparency.”

Disruption of terrorist attacks

The National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism is Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police Service. As far as he’s concerned, countering terrorism has for too long been thought of as the sole preserve of the police service, the security agencies and the Government.

Rowley is calling for people and businesses to be prepared to play their part in keeping the country safe. He said: “The danger posed by violent extremists has evolved. They are no longer a problem solely stemming from countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, far away in the minds of the public. Now, they are home-grown in our communities, radicalised by images and messages they read on social media and prepared to kill for their cause. The tragic murder of Lee Rigby last year was a stark warning to us all about how real and local the threat really is.”

Rowley continued: “Police officers and our partners are continuing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the UK from a terrorist attack. So far this year we’ve disrupted several attack plots and made 271 arrests following counter-terrorism investigations, but the eyes and ears of law enforcement and other agencies alone cannot combat the threat.”

The UK’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST focuses on four key areas: Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. Most of the publicity around terrorism is based on Pursue and Prevent, as these involve arrests, the disrupting of actual attack plots and turning people away from extremism.

AC Rowley is keen to stress that everyone can be doing more to Protect and Prepare, ensuring security in crowded places, the monitoring of our borders and being ready to respond to a terrorist attack.

“We don’t want to scare people, but we do want them to understand the threat and be vigilant to things that are out of place or suspicious and report it to the police. We need businesses to check that their security measures are effective and train their staff to detect potential threats and, if necessary, respond to an attack.”

Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley

Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley

AC Rowley also stated: “Experience shows us that terrorists target busy, well-populated places to ensure that attacks have a maximum impact. Businesses, particularly those in crowded places, have an invaluable role to play in our fight against terrorists, violent extremists and other criminals. Their staff are often the first people to spot signs that something is wrong.”

The police regularly hold security events with businesses, and the Metropolitan Police Service alone gave 29 presentations during 2013 and 2014.

Since the UK terror threat level increased on 29 August, reports of suspicious behaviour have nearly doubled. This is a direct result of reporting by members of the public, and every one of those reports is investigated.

However, AC Rowley wants more members of the public to have confidence in reporting their suspicions. “Please tell us if you know or suspect something,” he urged. “Your information could save lives. We will deal carefully with all of the information passed to us and respond sensitively and proportionately.”

*The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is the seventh major counter-terrorism law introduced in Britain since 9/11. The Bill can be accessed here

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Officer in life-threatening Samurai sword stand-off wins national Police Bravery Award

Sergeant Stephen Brown of the Metropolitan Police Service, who tackled and disarmed a man trying to slash him with a Samurai sword, has deservedly won a prestigious national Police Bravery Award.

With only his baton and CS spray to protect himself, and on his own, Sergeant Brown found himself fighting for his life as the man repeatedly swung the sword at his face and neck while ignoring orders to put the weapon down.

When the suspect swung for the officer again, Sergeant Brown discharged CS spray into the man’s face. The officer quickly moved towards his assailant and, while the sword was in the air, struck the man’s arm with his baton three times. On the third hit the man dropped the sword and fell to the floor.

Sergeant Brown immediately jumped on top of the man and was then joined by colleagues in restraining the individual. The offender was still struggling violently before being arrested after the incident, which occurred on Christmas Eve 2012 in north London.

Earlier that evening, the offender had repeatedly stabbed a woman. After he was detained by Sergeant Brown and his colleagues, officers discovered that the bag he was carrying contained an arsenal of weapons.

National Police Bravery Award

For his diligence and skill, Sergeant Brown has won the national Police Bravery Award. He was presented with the trophy at a ceremony held in central London attended by Home Secretary Theresa May, policing minister Mike Penning and Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM in addition to other dignitaries.

Earlier in the day, Sergeant Brown joined 65 of his colleagues from 31 police forces around the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and designed to recognise their heroic acts of bravery.

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The actions of Sergeant Stephen Brown are a powerful reminder of the commitment and courage that police officers bring to their role. Sergeant Brown put his own life in danger to defuse a terrifying situation. His intervention protected members of the public and may well have saved the lives of others. We should reflect on the bravery shown by all the officers nominated and that displayed by all police officers in the course of their duties each day.”

Speaking about the prestigious award, Sergeant Brown commented: “I feel overwhelmed. Other people deserve it more and I feel very honoured to have won this award. I would do exactly the same thing again and it’s what every officer would have done in that situation.”

He continued: “The man needed to be tackled there and then. The woman he had attacked was innocent and unknown to him. He needed to be stopped. This is what we do as police officers. People call it brave but it’s just part of the job.”

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day-to-day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the national Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more occurring in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”

Stephen Mann, CEO at Police Mutual, stated: “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations and act with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage.”

Mann concluded: “Police Mutual is honoured to continue its sponsorship of the national Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year, and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”

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UK terror threat level raised from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has changed the UK’s threat level in relation to the prospect of international terrorism impacting home shores, with Home Secretary Theresa May announcing today that the threat level has moved from substantial to severe.

A ‘Severe’ rating means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, although at the present moment there’s no intelligence available to suggest that any form of attack is imminent.

The official threat level informs security professionals across the public and private sectors as they make decisions about the appropriate level of protection in place across the UK.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre’s judgements are made on the basis of the latest intelligence and represent decisions taken independently of Government ministers.

There are five levels of threat, as follows:

*Critical: an attack is expected imminently
*Severe: an attack is highly likely
*Substantial: an attack is a strong possibility
*Moderate: an attack is possible but not likely
*Low: an attack is unlikely

Developments in Syria and Iraq

Announcing the change, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West. Some of these plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have travelled there from the UK and Europe to take part in those conflicts.”

May continued: “The first and most important duty of Government is the protection of the British people. We have already taken steps to amend our powers and increase our capabilities for dealing with the developing terrorist threats which we face. That process will continue, and the British public should be in no doubt that we will take the strongest possible action to protect our national security.”

In conclusion, the Home Secretary stated: “We face a real and serious threat in the UK from international terrorism. I would urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police service.”

Watch a video of Theresa May’s announcement on BBC News

Statement issued by ACPO

ACPO’s National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said: “The threat level from international terrorism has changed from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’ in response to the developments in Syria and Iraq. This means it’s highly likely that a terrorist attack could happen in the UK. We therefore continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police service. We need communities and families to bring to our attention anyone they perceive may be vulnerable, a danger or escalating towards terrorism. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.”

Rowley continued: “Public safety is our priority, and we have a variety of established operational tactics that are regularly used to ensure that the UK is both well prepared and protected. Over the years, we have built capabilities and enhanced our security arrangements against a consistently high level of threat. Much of this is already in place. Our aim is to reduce the risk to the public, and we keep our security arrangements under constant review in line with the threat we face.”

In addition, Rowley commented: “We have activated the established planning mechanisms across the police service, co-ordinated by myself as National Policing Lead on Counter-Terrorism. This will lead to enhanced prevention and preparedness.”

To conclude, Rowley went on to state: “From this afternoon, we will begin to increase our levels of visible patrols and implement other security and protection measures. We will also build on existing community relations to provide reassurance and seek communities’ support and assistance in keeping the UK safe.”

Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the media

Watch a Daily Telegraph video of Prime Minister David Cameron offering his views at a 10 Downing Street Press Conference

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Liberty represents MPs David Davis and Tom Watson in legal challenge to Government’s “emergency” surveillance law

At 11.00 am this morning, Liberty announced that it will seek a Judicial Review of the Government’s ’emergency’ surveillance law on behalf of MPs David Davis and Tom Watson. The announcement comes days after the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIP) was – according to Liberty – “rushed through Parliament” onto the statute book.

Liberty is arguing on Davis and Watson’s behalf that the new legislation is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the right to respect for private and family life, and Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights relating to respect for private and family life and the protection of personal data.

Since 2009, communications data has been retained by public communications services and network providers under a 2009 EU Data Retention Directive. However, back in April the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the Directive was invalid because it was so sweeping in its interference with individual privacy rights. The judgement made clear that existing UK legislation, including the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), required urgent review.

On 10 July 2014, the DRIP Bill was introduced by ministers claiming that “emergency” legislation was necessary. The Bill was privately agreed following discussions between the three main party leaders. It became law within just three days – a timescale which Liberty feels has rendered proper parliamentary scrutiny, amendment and even debate impossible.

James Welch: Liberty's legal director

James Welch: Liberty’s legal director

James Welch, legal director for Liberty, said: “It’s as ridiculous as it is offensive to introduce an “emergency” law in response to an essay crisis. The court ruling that blanket data retention breached the privacy of every man, woman and child in the UK was more than three months ago. The Government has shown contempt for both the rule of law and Parliamentary Sovereignty. This private cross-party stitch-up, rail-roaded onto the statute book inside three days, is ripe for challenge in the Courts.”

David Davis, Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden, added: “This Act of Parliament was driven through the House of Commons with ridiculous and unnecessary haste to meet a completely artificial emergency. As a result, Members of Parliament had no opportunity to either research it, consider it or debate it properly. The aim of this legal action is to make the Government give the House the opportunity to do what it should have been allowed to do in the first place – in other words proper, considered and effective law-making. The overall aim is to create law which both protects the security of our citizens without unnecessarily invading their privacy.”

David Davis MP

David Davis MP

Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East, added: “The three party leaders struck a private deal to rail-road through a controversial Bill in a week. You cannot make good laws behind closed doors. The new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act does not answer the concerns of many that the blanket retention of personal data is a breach of fundamental rights to privacy.”

Tom Watson MP

Tom Watson MP

The Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the ECHR into UK law. Section 3 requires that, so far as it is possible to do so, primary and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with Convention rights.

Section 4 stipulates that in any proceedings in which a court determines whether a provision or primary legislation is compatible with a Convention right, the court may – if it’s satisfied that the provision is incompatible – make a declaration of that incompatibility.

Liberty’s clients (ie David Davis MP and Tom Watson MP) claim that Section 1 of the DRIP 2014 is incompatible with the Human Rights Act and, in particular, Article 8 of the ECHR, together with Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter.

The powers within Section 1 of DRIP are extraordinarily wide. In its letter before claim to the Home Secretary, Liberty argues that such powers are incompatible with Article 8 of the ECHR and/or Articles 7 and/or 8 of the EU Charter for a number of reasons, including the following:

*Communications data can provide a very intimate picture of a person’s life – who they communicated with, by what means, the time and length of the communication, where the communication took place and the frequency of the communications. As the CJEU ruling said: “Those data, taken as a whole, may allow very precise conclusions to be drawn concerning the private lives of the persons whose data has been retained, such as the habits of everyday life, permanent or temporary places of residence, daily or other movements, the activities carried out, the social relationships of those persons and the social environments frequented by them”

*Communications data retained under DRIP is subject to an extremely lax access regime – still governed by the RIPA (Communications Data) Order 2010 – allowing such data to be acquired by hundreds of public authorities

*The Act allows the Home Secretary to command, by order, the blanket retention of all communications data for 12 months – no link with the prevention or detection of serious crime is required

Via its letter before claim, Liberty has invited the Home Secretary Theresa May to concede that the Act is indeed incompatible and to publish and present a replacement Bill, in turn allowing Parliament to fulfil its proper constitutional function.

Alternatively, the Home Secretary is invited to concede that Peter Davis MP and Tom Watson MP’s claim is arguable and that a substantive hearing ought to follow.

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