As posted on www.tfa.net:
The Freedom Association’s ‘Parliamentarians of the Week’ are…
This is the first time we have awarded the ‘Parliamentarian of the Week’ to the same person/persons, two weeks in a row; however, David Davis and Tom Watson richly deserve it.
During last week’s debate on the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill (now an Act of Parliament), many MPs warned the Government that the Bill (as it was) could face legal challenges. The DRIP Act does not just maintain the status quo, as was asserted by ministers, but instead increases the scope of the security services to monitor the data of all UK citizens at home and abroad.
Earlier this week it was announced that David Davis and Tom Watson have given the Government seven days notice that they intend to seek a judicial review. The review would not strike down the Act, however it would require the Government to take action to ensure it is compatible with human rights law.
Speaking about the review, David Davis, said:
“This Act of Parliament was driven through the House of Commons with ridiculous and unnecessary haste to meet a completely artificial emergency.
“As a result Members of Parliament had no opportunity to either research it, consider it or debate it properly and the aim of this legal action is to make the government give the House the opportunity to do what it should have been allowed in the first place. Proper, considered and effective law making.
“The overall aim is to create law which both protects the security of our citizens without unnecessarily invading their privacy.”
Tom Watson also had this to say:
“The three party leaders struck a private deal to railroad through a controversial bill in a week. You cannot make good laws behind closed doors.
“The new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act does not answer the concerns of many that the blanket retention of personal data is a breach of fundamental rights to privacy.”
It is our view that the right balance has not been struck between what is acceptable surveillance and what is not. The Act was railroaded through Parliament without any pre-legislative scrutiny and MPs were not given the time to conduct their own research, meet with constituents and other interested parties, which would have helped make this a fair and watertight Act of Parliament. Sadly, the only way to address these issues is through a judicial review.
As I said last week, David Davis and Tom Watson stood up for Parliament against the executive in very vocal and visible ways as the Act was going through the House of Commons, and this week they have acted to try and ensure what they couldn’t put right during the initial law making process is looked at again by Parliament.Once again, I offer both of them my congratulations as worthy recipients of this week’s ‘Parliamentarian of the Week’ award.