HC Deb 22 February 1988 vol 128 c16
58. Mr. Winnick

To ask the Attorney-General when he last met the Director of Public Prosecutions to discuss prosecution policy.

The Attorney-General

Last Thursday morning.

Mr. Winnick

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the immense harm done to Anglo-Irish relations by the statement that he made two weeks ago, in which he said that there would be no prosecution of RUC officers? While a later statement was made on the issue only last week, the fact remains that immense harm has been caused to Anglo-Irish relations. Would it not be wise to look again at the decision?

The Attorney-General

This question relates not to the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, but to the DPP for England and Wales. The point raised by the hon. Gentleman by way of a supplementary question has no bearing on it, but if it had, my answer would be no.

Mr. Gow

Will my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that the decision not to prosecute was made, not by him, but by the DPP for Northern Ireland?

The Attorney-General

That is entirely true, as I made clear in my statement on 25 January.

Mr. Cryer

Has the Attorney-General discussed with the Director of Public Prosecutions the possibility of prosecuting Chapman Pincher? All the information produced by Peter Wright in the book "Spycatcher" had been provided for Chapman Pincher. Is it not hypocritical of the Attorney-General to wax lyrical about a lifelong duty of confidentiality for members of MI5 when he knows full well that information has been provided to Chapman Pincher with the approval of the Government and Government officers? If Peter Wright and others are open to prosecution, should not Chapman Pincher, as the Government's mouthpiece, be subject to prosecution as well?

The Attorney-General

The hon. Gentleman is probably aware that nearly a year ago I announced that the prosecution of Mr. Chapman Pincher would not be in conformity with the code for Crown prosecutors.