Privilege debate tests Conservative stonewalling on detainees

The opening shots are being fired in the Commons in what could become a bitter war over Parliament’s right to know and the government’s right to keep secrets.

Opposition MPs are asking the Speaker to rule that the government has violated their privileges by refusing to hand over controversial documents on the Afghan detainee issue.

They say the refusal mocks parliamentary rights and privileges that date back centuries.

Liberal Derek Lee is seeking a formal ruling from the Speaker finding the MP privileges have been harmed.

That would be followed by a motion ordering the government to produce the documents in question.

The Conservative government says it cannot give the uncensored material to a special Commons committee on Afghanistan because of national security considerations.

[original]

spotted by RS

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