MAY 24, 2008
Questions in parliament
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the influential all-party Home Affairs Select Committee, which oversees policy, administration and expenditure of the British Home Office and its associated bodies, including the Security Service (MI5), has asked the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for guarantees that MI5 operatives are being properly vetted, in the wake of the Mosley Scandal, which has revealed that the wife of an MI5 agent was involved in the orgy which threatens to be Mosley's downfall.
The committee has written to the Home Secretary demanding answers about the vetting process of security service agents which allowed a man married to a prostitute to work for MI5. The agent whose wife was filmed in an orgy with Max Mosley, the President of the Federation Internationale de LAutomobile, has since been forced to resign. The Committee is concerned that the integrity of the agent was compromised by his wifes actions and has asked the Home Secretary for reassurance that the vetting process has been toughened up to ensure that damaging and potentially dangerous situations such as this never happen again.
"Quite clearly this situation should never have been allowed to arise," Vaz wrote. "Security service agents are involved in delicate and sometimes highly dangerous work. They need to be in a personal situation where they can operate without having their integrity compromised. The public deserves to know that the people that they trust to protect them are thoroughly vetted and able to do their job properly. I hope that the Home Secretary is able to demonstrate to the committee that MI5 have improved the way they vet staff.
It is reported that MI5 is reviewing its vetting procedures as a result of the scandal, which resulted in the MI5 man having to resign.
The committee is scheduled to discuss intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance issues on June 3.