Dominic Grieve named head of committee overseeing intelligence agencies

Former attorney general – and recent critic of government's human rights plans – elected to lead the Intelligence and Security Committee

By Josh May

15 Sep 2015

Dominic Grieve has been elected the new chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

The Conservative MP served as attorney general in the Coalition Government from 2010 to 2014 and was chosen by the other members of the committee.

The ISC is made up of MPs and peers, and oversees the work of Britain’s security services.

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Grieve has been a critic of the government in recent months on issues including its proposal to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, and the now-defeated plan to suspend purdah for the European Union referendum.

Last week, Grieve said the deadly drone attack in Syria that left two British jihadists dead would likely lead to a legal challenge from the victims’ families, describing the action as “draconian”.

He added, however, that there was provision for such action under international law.

“The person concerned constitutes such a direct and immediate threat to the national security of the United Kingdom or the lives of British nationals, and there is no other way of dealing with that threat, then you would be entitled to use lethal force,” Mr Grieve told Sky News.

"In very much the same way as if the police arrived and saw a gunman on top of a building about to open fire on people below, even though it's not due process of law, they may fire first to prevent him opening fire. It's a very similar principle."

David Cameron has suggested the ISC could be allowed to review the government’s decision to authorise the lethal strikes. 

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