Mark Pritchard MP calls for "root and branch" reform of the Official Secrets Act

Mark Pritchard has called for "root and branch" reform of the Official Secrets Act during Urgent Question.

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin) (Con)

Notwithstanding the particulars of this case, is it not time for the Government finally to bring forward the espionage Bill, which would include the long overdue root and branch reform of the Official Secrets Act? Despite the Deputy Prime Minister’s comments today, is it also not the case that Cabinet leaks will continue as long as Cabinet papers retain their current classification? Is it not time for a review of how Cabinet papers are classified, and should they not all be classified as secret or above?

Mr Lidington

The question of the classification of documents is kept under review the whole time. In my recent experience, some Cabinet papers have been classified at secret level and others at a lower level. The classification depends on the substance of what is included in those papers. My hon. Friend also asked about future legislation, and we are obviously keen to bring forward the measure to which he referred, and other Bills, to the House as soon as we can.