MPs charged with keeping the intelligence services in check are nor facing the "21st century reality of the security and intelligence services," a leading Labour MP said.
Alluding to John Le Carre's fictional Cold War spy George Smiley, Home Affairs Committee Chairman Keith Vaz MP said:
The current system of oversight is designed to scrutinise the work of George Smiley not the 21st century reality of the security and intelligence services.
The agencies are at the cutting edge of sophistication and are owed an equally refined system of democratic scrutiny.
It is an embarrassing indictment of our system that some in the media felt compelled to publish leaked information to ensure that matters were heard in Parliament.
The Intelligence and Security Committee should be given a democratic mandate in the same way as other Select Committees.
More top news
A mother and daughter have been rescued after four days in the New Zealand bush, after their 'HELP' sign was spotted by a helicopter.
A group of hooded youths have clashed with police in Paris at a May Day rally against proposed labour reforms.
Tonight a band of cloud and rain will spread into Scotland and Northern Ireland before reaching all parts of the country tomorrow.