SNP to vote against Snoopers’ Charter at third reading



Joanna Cherry QC MP

The SNP has said its MPs will vote against the Investigatory Powers Bill at its third reading in Parliament today.

Justice spokesperson, Joanna Cherry QC MP, said that while the party supports giving law enforcement and the intelligence and security services necessary and proportionate powers to fight crime and terrorism, the UK government has “failed to make the case for such wide-ranging new powers and failed to deliver the necessary robust safeguards and independent oversight that these powers would require.”

Last week Ms Cherry again wrote to and met with Home Secretary Theresa May to outline the SNP’s serious concerns with the legislation, and to set out a list of amendments without which SNP MPs would not support the bill.

Echoing concerns expressed by others, including Liberty, the party said that the current case for internet connection records and bulk powers is inadequate; that many of the powers sought in the bill are of dubious legality and significantly exceed those provided for in other western democracies, without sufficient justification.

The party put forward a set of amendments to ensure that surveillance by authorities is targeted by means of warrants that are focused, specific and based on reasonable suspicion, and that oversight and safeguards are robust and independent of the executive.

Ms Cherry said: “By failing to address, or even take seriously, the genuine concerns that we have the government has forced us to vote against the bill – a decision that we have not taken lightly.”

“The SNP has said its MPs will vote against the Investigatory Powers Bill at its third reading in Parliament today.”