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Counter-terrorism and MI5

Question for Home Office

UIN HL12506, tabled on 25 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the responsibilities are of (1) MI5, and (2) Counter Terrorism Policing, in relation to the surveillance and monitoring of political campaigns and campaigners.

Answered on

3 February 2021

All MI5 activity is conducted in relation to its statutory functions as set out in Section 1 of the Security Service Act 1989.

The Director General MI5 has a statutory responsibility to ensure that MI5 remains apolitical, the government of the day cannot instruct MI5 to perform any task for party political reasons. MI5 only investigates those individuals it considers may be a threat.

Similarly, CT policing’s remit is to protect the UK from terrorism and associated threats such as espionage. Responsibility for public-order policing – including in relation to protest groups and the facilitation of lawful protest – sits with individual forces, supported by the National Police Coordination Centre.

Answered by

Home Office