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
Thursday 30 January 2014
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".
- 1 Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature'
- 2 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature'
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ferguson decision: Tea Party website mocks Michael Brown's family over T-shirt typo
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Yorkshire based firm looking to...