Former-MI5 chief warns Government over 'secret evidence'

Intelligence relationships between the UK and other countries could be "seriously jeopardised" unless judges are allowed to hear evidence in secret, a former MI5 chief has said.

Former-General Baroness Manningham-Buller said in a letter to The Times (£) that it would be "dangerous" for the UK if the proposals did not become law.

Then-Director General of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller in 2004
Then-Director General of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller in 2004 Credit: Reuters

The Government has said it is wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on settling claims, some of which may have no merit, because it is unable to contest them as the evidence it would wish to produce is so secret that it cannot be revealed in an open court.

She said: "The Bill also aims to close a legal loophole that seriously jeopardises the intelligence relationships between the UK and other countries.

"Unless this loophole is closed, the flow of intelligence from other countries, which according to the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, has already been reduced, will slow to a trickle.

"That would be dangerous for the UK as so many of the threats we face are global and we need foreign intelligence to understand and counter them."

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