The departure of one former SoS, Peter Hain, has seen the return of another former SoS to front line politics, Paul Murphy, as Secretary of State for Wales. This almost certainly means Murphy will have to depart as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. The St Andrew’s Agreement contained a reference to the Intelligence and Security Committee:
“There is also the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee whose remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the security and intelligence agencies and whose reports are placed before Parliament; the Government has already indicated that it is prepared to consider how the Northern Ireland focus of the Committee might be strengthened.”
This reference was interpreted by the DUP as meaning they would gain future representation on this committee and one senior DUP member described its inclusion in St Andrew’s as:
one of the most important things
A opportunity for the ISC’s re-organisation has now arisen, will the DUP pursue the matter or are they content with the Privy Council arrangements?