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Criminal Conduct Bill

Today, Parliament voted on the Second Reading of the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill. It’s a Bill that needs to pass so our police and secret services can do their jobs, but I also have reservations. It needs proper scrutiny in the House, so strong safeguards and oversights are in place to protect human rights, and ‘blank cheque’ authorisations can’t happen.

In short, the Criminal Conduct Bill gives undercover police and agents limited powers to break the law to maintain their cover. It’s needed to infiltrate and disrupt violent gangs, terrorist groups, child exploitation groups and other criminal groups. In short, the Bill allows undercover agents to commit a less serious crime to prevent an extremely serious crime from happening.

Our police and secret services are already having to do this but, right now, there is no legislation to regulate, guide and scrutinise this reality. Right now, undercover agents are being forced into a grey area without guidance, scrutiny or legislative support.

Security is a top concern for me and the Labour party. I know some people are rightly concerned about how this Bill affects our liberties and power we give undercover agents. My position is that the best way to tackle these concerns is to ensure these authorisations are proportional, limited and transparent. It must not be used to impact the ongoing inquiry into physical and sexual relationships with undercover police officers or used to cover-up retrospective law-breaking.

As I demonstrated with my Private Members Bill on Forensic Science Regulation, our criminal justice system has gaps that need addressing. I’m committed to closing those gaps while ensuring that historic injustices involving our law enforcement and security services have happened, justice is achieved.

Thank you,

Darren

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Darren demands cessation of visa fees for commonwealth armed forces personnel

In April 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed a cross party letter, along with 130 other MPs, calling on the Home Secretary to cease charging visa fees for commonwealth servicemen and women.

At that time (April 2019) Darren said:

“I am pleased to have signed this letter – all visa fees, alongside the Home Office’s assessment process, need a total re-think, but making money out of those who have risked their lives for this country (as the cost to the tax payer to process these applications is very low) is totally unacceptable and must stop”.

In July 2019, Darren updated that:

“Charging high visa fees to those who have sacrificed, and put their life on the line, to serve this country is no way to thank them. The fees for Leave to Remain are over £3000, so this is not a small amount were asking brace service personnel to find! The Royal British Legion are now running a campaign to help raise awareness of this injustice and are asking for people to write to their MP. Whilst I welcome any contact from my constituents, I have already pledged my support to this campaign and will proudly continue to do so”.

 

 

 

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Darren demands formal apology for Amritsar Massacre

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has received a reply from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after signing a cross party letter, calling on the government to issue a formal apology for British actions in the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre in 1919.

Darren said:

” I’ve now received a reply from the Government following the joint letter I signed seeking a full apology for the massacre in 1919 at Amritsar.

This half-hearted response isn’t good enough – the Government has missed an important opportunity, given the 100 year anniversary, to issue an apology for this appalling event. I will continue to call for an official apology”.

“I“.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren demands cessation of visa fees for commonwealth armed forces personnel

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed a cross party letter, along with 130 other MPs, calling on the Home Secretary to cease charging visa fees for commonwealth servicemen and women who, after their service to this country, apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (which costs £2389 per person, per application).

Darren said:

“I am pleased to have signed this letter – all visa fees, alongside the assessment process, need a total re-think, but making money out of those  who have risked their lives for this country (as the cost to the tax payer to process these applications is very low) is totally unacceptable and must stop”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren asks Government about the ethics of autonomous and artificial intelligence defence systems

In a statement about the Government’s Modernising Defence Programme, Darren asked the Secretary of State for Defence about the work he was doing on an international basis to ensure that new defence technologies are used in an ethical way.