David Cameron faces tough questions over security strategy

PM will be questioned by MPs and peers over UK relationship with US following the intelligence revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden

The Prime Minister will be questioned about the National Security Strategy in Parliament today amid continued concern about defence cuts and the activities of the intelligence agencies.

David Cameron will be asked about the effectiveness of the National Security Council (NSC) and how the next strategy, expected in 2015, will respond to the changing risks facing the country.

The session with MPs and peers on the National Security Strategy Committee is likely to cover the UK's relationship with the USA, which has come under scrutiny following the intelligence revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden and warnings about the impact of defence cuts from former Pentagon chief Robert Gates.

The committee has also previously raised concerns about the United States' strategic "pivot" away from Europe towards the Asia-Pacific region.

Other topics likely to be covered include the Government's response to events in Syria and the Ministry of Defence's decision-making on the future of the Army.

The evidence session is also expected look at wider national security concerns, including energy and food security, and the ownership of critical national infrastructure.

The joint committee, chaired by Labour former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett, includes former security minister Baroness Neville-Jones, and Intelligence and Security Committee chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

Former energy secretary Chris Huhne last year raised concerns about the information given to the NSC following Mr Snowden's disclosure of techniques used by GCHQ and its American counterpart the National Security Agency.

He said the NSC and the Cabinet were kept in the dark about the Tempora spy programme and the British use of the American Prism system.

"If anyone should have been briefed on Prism and Tempora, it should have been the NSC," he said.

While the Snowden leaks have focused attention on the close relationship with the US intelligence agencies, difficulties in the military partnership were highlighted earlier this month by former US defence secretary Robert Gates.

Mr Gates said defence cuts, including the lack of an operational aircraft carrier, had reduced its ability to be a "full partner" to the United States across the whole range of military operations.

But Mr Cameron insisted Britain remained a "first-class player" in defence terms and dismissed Mr Gates' claims that spending cuts have left the UK diminished on the world stage as "wrong".

PA

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Recruitment Genius: HVAC & Mechanical Service Estimator

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Yorkshire based firm looking to...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty