Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is taking the lead in steps to improve the Investigatory Powers Bill, as the Public Bill Committee meets this week to consider the first set of amendments to the Bill. Alongside the SNP Spokesperson for Justice and Home Affairs, Joanna Cherry MP, Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has also been appointed to the committee to scrutinise the Bill.

gavin newlandsThe SNP is tabling amendments to make the security legislation more effective, proportionate and respectful of civil liberties. The amendments would ensure surveillance is targeted, based on reasonable suspicion, and permitted only after a warrant has been issued by a judge rather than a politician.

Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said:

“The SNP is taking the lead in ensuring the Investigatory Powers Bill is not rushed through without careful consideration – we recognise that the security services and the police require adequate powers to fight terrorism and serious crime, however, such powers must always be proportionate, and in accordance with law.

“In particular, they must not impinge disproportionately on the right to privacy or security of data.

“The range of amendments that the SNP are tabling are the sort of principled amendments which are required to render parts of the Bill compliant with international human rights law, to bring the Bill into line with the practice in other western democracies, and to meet the concerns of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy.

“We are committed to tackling the exceptionally intrusive provisions of the Bill in order to ensure security policy is targeted, proportionate and compatible with Human Rights. The SNP look forward to working with all members of the committee to devise a bill that protects us from harm but also protects the fundamental rights and freedoms of all law-abiding citizens in the UK.”