David Davis among ex-services MPs urging Theresa May to hold torture inquiry

Posted On: 
11th August 2018

A cross-party group of former soldiers - including two Tory ex-Cabinet ministers - has urged Theresa May to order a public inquiry into Britain’s complicity in torture.

Mr Davis is among those calling for a fresh investigation
Credit: 
PA Images

David Davis and Andrew Mitchell joined Tory backbencher Crispin Blunt, Lib Dem Lord Ashdown and Labour's Dan Jarvis to make the demand in a letter to the PM.

They said: “Only through an independent judge-led inquiry will we learn the lessons of the past and decisively demonstrate our commitment to the values for which we served.”

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It comes two months after the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) found Britain had tolerated “inexcusable” mistreatment of terror suspects by US forces.

In their letter seen by the Times, the ex-services MPs wrote: "UK involvement in abuses tarnishes our international reputation and severely hampers our operational strength worldwide, damaging our international partnerships and our national security.

"The report of the ISC has uncovered disturbing new evidence of UK involvement in the US government's programme of torture and rendition.

“As evidence has mounted over almost two decades, we remain deeply concerned at the extent to which UK decisionmakers have risked involvement in serious abuses - all while UK personnel were risking their lives to uphold the values those abuses transgressed."

Mr Davis served Mrs May as Brexit Secretary until he quit the Cabinet last month in protest at her negotiating strategy. Mr Mitchell meanwhile is a former international development secretary.

David Cameron announced a judge-led inquiry into torture as one of his first moves upon entering Downing Street in 2010, but it was scrapped in 2012 before completing its work.

A government spokesman told the Times the ISC report was being considered and it would respond “in due course”.