Why the Food Standards Agency could be given a ‘licence to kill’

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Conservative MPs have today voted to overturn safeguarding amendments to a controversial bill that could give the Food Standards Agency a licence to kill.

The Government’s Covert Human Intelligence Services Bill would create a legal basis for certain public bodies, including MI5, the Food Standards Agency and the Gambling Commission, to give undercover agents complete immunity to commit crimes in the UK.

A cross-party amendment inserted in the House of Lords to rule out murder, torture and sexual violence from being authorised was overturned by Conservative MPs in the Commons this evening. All Liberal Democrat MPs voted to keep the amendment.

Four other amendments were also overturned by the Government, and the Bill will now return to the House of Lords.

Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Home Affairs, said:

“Voting in favour of state-sanctioned murder is another new low in the Conservatives’ assault on the rule of law.

“I recognise that not everyone shares my views on every issue. But surely we can agree that the state should not be commissioning murder, torture or rape?

“This is a dangerous Bill from a Conservative Government that is careless with our rights and freedoms. Liberal Democrats will continue working cross-party to try and fix it.”

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