MI5 chief denies torture cover-up

In a very rare move, the head of MI5 Jonathan Evans rejects the charge of covering up complicity in torture as “ the opposite of the truth”, while careful to avoid direct criticism of the Appeal Court.

There have also been a series of allegations that MI5 has been trying to “cover up” its activities. That is the opposite of the truth. People who choose to work in the service do so because they want to protect the UK and its liberties. We are an accountable public organisation and take our legal and oversight responsibilities seriously. The material our critics are drawing on to attack us is taken from our own records, not prised from us by some external process but willingly provided by us to the court, in the normal way. No cover-up there.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London