Ex-MI6 chief Richard Dearlove calls for independent oversight of agencies

Former head of MI6 intelligence agency Sir Richard Dearlove says 'lack of trust' in politicians means new regulator needed

By Josh May

18 Mar 2015

A former head of MI6 has called for a single independent watchdog to oversee the work of the security services.

Sir Richard Dearlove told the Global Strategy Forum thinktank that a panel formed of NGOs, technology experts, and a “citizens’ group” could help to reassure the public about the agencies’ activities.

MI5, MI6 and GCHQ are currently overseen by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. But Sir Richard urged the creation of a new scrutiny body that would be “representative of different threads of opinion” in the face of a “lack of trust” in politicians.

His comments come as the Henry Jackson Society released a report claiming that leaks on intelligence agency activity by US security contractor Edward Snowden have “polluted ongoing operations” by the services.

Meanwhile, the Sun reports today that George Osborne will use today's budget to announce an extra £25m in funding for the security services.

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