Nick Clegg statement on the Draft Communications Data bill

Commenting, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“There were significant concerns about the draft bill, which is why I insisted that it be put before the Joint Committee.

“This is a very difficult issue and I welcome the Committee's thoroughness.

“Their report makes a number of serious criticisms – not least on scope; proportionality; cost; checks and balances; and the need for much wider consultation.

“It is for those reasons that I believe the Coalition Government needs to have a fundamental rethink about this legislation.

“We cannot proceed with this bill and we have to go back to the drawing board.

“We need to reflect properly on the criticisms that the Committee have made, while also consulting much more widely with business and other interested groups.

“The Committee did not, however, suggest that nothing needs to be done. They were very clear that there is a problem that must be addressed to give law enforcement agencies the powers they need to fight crime. I agree.

“But that must be done in a proportionate way that gets the balance between security and liberty right. Any modernisation of the powers, including possible new legislation, must meet the concerns of the Joint Committee by having the best possible safeguards and keeping costs under control.”

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