MI6 avoids greater oversight

Government rejects reforms after agent crossed ‘red lines’

Ministers have rejected a call for greater oversight of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service MI6 after a foreign agent crossed “red lines”, Sir Brian Leveson has told me in his first interview as investigatory powers commissioner.

In October 2019, Leveson wrote to the prime minister, noting that the running of agents by MI6 overseas was “subject to less detailed and intrusive oversight” than agent-running in the UK. The former senior judge recommended that Boris Johnson’s government should carefully consider whether this was still the right policy position.

In my column for today’s Law Society Gazette, I reveal the reply Leveson received last year from the then foreign secretary Dominic Raab.