HL Deb 05 February 1998 vol 585 cc123-4WA
Lord Orme

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Answer by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 23 July 1997 (HC Deb., col. 605), whether they intend to make any changes to the nationality rules for applicants for employment with the intelligence and security services. [HL485]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

After a detailed and careful review of existing procedures in which the interests of not discriminating against the

Department Total Staff Visitors Ministers
Cabinet Office 48 *39 0 9
Culture, Media and Sport 13 *9 0 4
Environment, Transport and the Regions 209 129 171 9
Education and Employment 253 240 7 6
International Development 51 46 3 2
Health 288 268 14 6
Social Security2 293 *293 0 0
Trade and Industry 181 *172 0 9
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 116 96 15 5
Treasury3 429 *424 0 5
Home Office4 155 *155 0 0
Lord Chancellor's Office 343 334 6 3
Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 41 *37 0 4
Defence 186 *183 0 0
Northern Ireland Office 18 *12 0 6
Scottish Office 16 12 0 4
Welsh Office 6 *4 0 2
Government Office for London5 24 16 8
* Denotes departments which do not differentiate between car parking spaces for visitors and staff.
1 Includes 60 spaces at 2 Marsham Street which are to be vacated by April 1998.
2 Ministerial car parking spaces included in Department of Health figures.
3 Includes Inland Revenue and Customs & Exices.
4 Ministerial vehicles park on outside courtyard of Home Office.
5 Comprises staff from Environment, Transport and the Regions, Trade and Industry and Employment and Education.

individual have been balanced against the requirements of national security, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has approved several changes to the nationality rules for employment with GCHQ and the Secret Intelligence Service. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has approved the same changes with respect to the Security Service. The new rules still require that an applicant or employee should be a British citizen, (and hold no other citizenship) but those relating to parental nationality have been simplified. The requirement is now that at least one parent should be British or have substantial ties with the United Kingdom. The rule restricting the nationality of spouses and cohabitants to limited categories of countries has also been relaxed. It will, however, continue to be the case that the circumstances of each applicant are examined in detail as part of the security vetting process in order to assess any risks. The new rules will come into force with immediate effect.