David Cameron has called for a senior judge to investigate claims that British intelligence agents colluded in the torture of terrorist suspects.
The Tory leader's intervention piles further pressure on the Prime Miniser, who has refused to sanction a full judicial inquiry into accusations involving former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed.
Mr Mohamed has alleged that MI5 officers turned a blind eye to the torture he endured – including razor wounds and severe beatings – and even fed questions to American agents who were interrogating him.
Lord Carlile of Berriew, the Government's terror watchdog, has already called for an independent inquiry. Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the Attorney General, has been investigating the accusations for four months. They are also being examined by the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, which meets in private.
But Mr Cameron, returning to the Commons despatch box since the death of his young son Ivan two weeks ago, said the time had come to pass the case to an independent judge.
"We all want to eradicate the potential stain on Britain's reputation, but the question is whether an investigation into criminal conduct by the Attorney General is enough," he said. "We need to look at what procedures and processes are in place to ensure that Britain cannot knowingly or unknowingly be implicated in torture."
Mr Brown said the Government "unreservedly condemned" the use of torture in any circumstances and promised that allegations would, if necessary, be brought to court.Reuse content