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Friday, 5 August 2011

Saving the torture inquiry

I understand the arguments for not participating in Sir Peter Gibson's inquiry into allegations of British complicity in torture and rendition. Having myself campaigned for such an inquiry, I was very pleased when the Coalition Government set it up. It now needs rescuing. The Government and Sir Peter should pause for thought. I have not read the terms of reference for the inquiry, so I do not know if they are objectionable. A political animal who understands the intelligence community - maybe Sir Ming Campbell,  Lord Ashdown, Lord Owen, Lord Hurd, Lord Carlile, Lord West or Baroness Neville-Jones - must urgently be appointed to review the terms of the inquiry, to produce a compromise formula that allays the concerns of those who are not participating, while also meeting the needs of government. It's got to be as simple as that.

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