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Lords pass ‘Spycops Bill’ despite last-ditch bid to halt it

Labour's Baroness Chakrabarti ‘ashamed’ she couldn’t persuade peers of the ‘dangers of granting advance immunity for criminal actions for a whole raft of state agents’

by Bethany Rielly

THE “Spycop” Bill passed through the House of Lords today despite a last-ditch bid to halt the “dangerous” legislation in its tracks. 

A “fatal motion” tabled by Green peer Baroness Jones to prevent the Covert Human Intelligence and Resources (CHIS) Bill from passing was overwhelmingly rejected by 440 to 29 votes. 

Under the proposed legislation, public authorities ranging from police and MI5 to the Environmental and Food Standards Agency will be able to authorise agents to commit crimes while undercover. 

Submitting her motion, Baroness Jones said: “It’s a terrible piece of legislation and I cannot be complicit in it, nor in future acts of state oppression that will be the result of our passing it.

“The Bill is so fundamentally flawed that it should not be allowed to pass.”

The Green peer has urged Labour MPs not to abstain on the Bill when it returns to the Commons for its final stages next week, warning the party would be “complicit in state oppression,” if it did so. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has repeatedly ordered peers and MPs to abstain, including on an amendment tabled by Baroness Chakrabarti last week.

Baroness Chakrabarti said she felt “ashamed” that she couldn’t persuade more peers of the “profound dangers to grant advance immunity for criminal actions for a whole raft of its agents.” 

“My patriotism isn’t the love of a flag but in a nutshell a love of the NHS and the rule of law,” she told the House of Lords.

“And this Bill in my view abdicates the vital principle of equality before the law. It is a very sad day for me my Lords.” 

The Labour peer previously warned the Bill was “one of the most dangerous that I’ve ever seen.”

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