HC Deb 23 February 2004 vol 418 c20
19. Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow) (Lab)

What representations he has received from the National Union of Journalists on the requirement on journalists to reveal their sources under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996. [155762]

The Secretary of State for the Home Department(Mr. David Blunkett)

To the best of my knowledge, none—I thought about approaching the NUJ to see whether I could access any of its sources of information from my Department, which would enormously reduce my blood pressure on a Sunday morning.

Mr. Dalyell

I want to declare a personal interest, of which I have informed a senior official at the Home Office: I am under pressure from defence lawyers and West Mercia police in relation to the revelation of sources on the brutal and callous murder of the Shrewsbury rose-grower, Hilda Murrell. What is the Home Secretary's general attitude to the use of the 1996 Act to put pressure on people to reveal sources?

Mr. Blunkett

My attitude is clear: it is not the job of the Government or the police to bring pressure to bear on MPs or other citizens to reveal their sources, but it is their duty to investigate and find out the facts. Investigation involves interrogating people, and it is open to the individual to reveal what they believe would be helpful in finding the truth—I hope that we are moving to find the truth in that historic case.