Andrew Mitchell responds to the Government statement on the detention and rendition of detainees overseas.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke), the Father of the House, cannot be here today, for reasons he has explained, but were he here, I am sure he would say what I am going to say, which is that this is a breach of the undertaking that was given to the country and to Parliament by the Cabinet, of which the Father of the House and I were members. Both of us were also members of the National Security Council. I am mindful of the serious damage that this has done to our international reputation, and it is a great pity that my right hon. Friend the Minister and the Government have reached the conclusions that they have today.
I respect my right hon. Friend’s position, but I disagree with it, for the reasons that I have set out. We address harm to our national reputation by clearly being seen to admit when things have gone wrong in the past and taking resolute action to put them right, and I think that the measures that have been put in place over the last few years are evidence that we have done so.