HC Deb 02 November 1987 vol 121 c508W
Mr. Whitney

asked the Prime Minister what proposals she has for the appointment of a staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

In the debate which followed my announcement of the Government's acceptance of the Security Commission's recommendations in their report on the case of Michael John Bettaney, I undertook to consider a suggestion that there would be advantage in designating someone, not himself a member of the security service, to whom a member of the security service could turn if he or she had anxieties relating to the work of the service.

The House will wish to know that Sir Philip Woodfield, KCB, CBE, has been appointed as a staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services. He will be available to be consulted by any member of the security and intelligence services who has anxieties relating to the work of his or her service which it has not been possible to allay through the ordinary processes of management-staff relations. He will have access to all relevant documents and to any level of management in each service. He will be able to make recommendations to the head of the service concerned. He will also have access to the Secretary of the Cabinet if he wishes and will have the right to make recommendations to him. He will report as appropriate to the heads of the services and will report not less frequently than once a year to me and to my right hon. Friends the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary and the Home Secretary as appropriate on his activities and on the working of the system.

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