The prime minister said it should be left to the home secretary to give evidence to the MPs on their concerns about counter-terrorism and the Guardian’s disclosures of mass digital surveillance by GCHQ and the US national security agency.
The decision prompted a furious reaction from Vaz, who said: “The prime minister has suggested that the home secretary should come before us to answer our questions and Theresa May is suggesting that it is a matter for the Intelligence and Security Committee. We cannot play pass the parcel on the issue of accountability on these important issues.
“Ministers should take care not to dictate to parliamentary committees which witnesses can be called and for what reasons. Witnesses, no matter how senior, should not be afraid of answering questions from MPs. As a result of this correspondence, our session with the home secretary next Monday will be longer and more detailed than we originally anticipated, and she needs to prepare to come before the committee more often.”
I’m sure that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will be able to justify the head of MI5’s claims that the Guardian has endangered national security by publishing leaks from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.