Julian Smith, Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon, today spoke in the House of Commons about serious concerns arising from the Guardian’s publication of national security information and how it was handled.
Speaking in Business Questions, Mr Smith said:
“As part of its reporting of national security issues, The Guardian has not denied sending the detailed family and personal information of our security agents across borders. That is illegal and it is threatening our agents and their families. May we have a statement from the Home Secretary to clarify that the law will be upheld, whether or not the organisation involved is hiding behind the fig leaf of journalism?”
In response, Leader of the House Andrew Lansley said:
“My hon. Friend and the House know that the freedom of speech we prize so highly comes with a responsibility. Members of the House and the public will have been struck by what the director general of MI5 said this week. I am sure he was right to say what he said. In that context, I will ask the Home Secretary to consider my hon. Friend’s point and how she might inform the House in due course, but it seems to me that, regardless of any action taken by the Government, it is incumbent on the press—meaning, in this context, The Guardian—to exercise accountability for its decisions.”