HC Deb 20 May 1991 vol 191 c634
32. Mr. Campbell-Savours

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

The Solicitor-General (Sir Nicholas Lyell)

English law contains no specific offence of industrial espionage, but those engaging in such conduct may incur criminal liability, depending on the circumstances. The decision whether to prosecute in any particular case is taken in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Has the Attorney-General discussed with the Director of Public Prosecutions the case of Mr. Gordon Layton of National Car Parks and of Jane Turpin of KAS, a security company, and the allegations made about their activities? They are alleged to have committed industrial espionage and to have stolen documents. Will there be a prosecution in that case?

The Solicitor-General

The Attorney-General and I do not make public our discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions. However, on the case to which the hon. Gentleman refers, investigations are continuing but a report has not yet been received by the director.

Mr. David Martin

When and if my right hon. and learned Friend has an opportunity to raise with the Director of Public Prosecutions matters of industrial espionage, will he also see whether action can be taken against the perpetrators of notoriously false literature that circulated at a recent by-election? Should not the matter be investigated urgently before the perpetrators have a chance to flee the country?

The Solicitor-General

I think that I have already heard the Opposition make a statement from the dock on "Today" this morning.