§ Mr. Soley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the vetting of British Broadcasting Corporation staff by the security services.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The Government believe (as have successive Governments over a long period) that it is in the national interest for the BBC to apply certain necessary security procedures. The Government welcome the review of these procedures recently undertaken by the director general of the BBC, which has led to a clarification of the criteria for their application and ensured that the number of posts affected by them is kept to the necessary minimum. As the BBC has made clear, it alone decides whom to appoint to any post within the corporation, and no external agency has a right of veto on the appointment or promotion of any member of staff.