Question to the Home Office:
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Minister for Security on 1 November (HC Deb col 791), whether the proposed new taskforce to protect parliament from being subverted by foreign powers will examine the funding of (1) think tanks, and (2) other organisations, seeking to influence public policy; and in particular, where such funding comes from (a) abroad, and (b) anonymous sources.
As the Government set out in the Integrated Review, it will be essential to take a whole-of-society approach to resilience across the United Kingdom.
The taskforce announced by the Minister for Security earlier this week will drive forward work to defend the democratic integrity of our country. It will work with Parliament, political parties, government departments, the security and intelligence agencies, the devolved Administrations and private sector to better protect our freedoms and institutions from a range of threats.
I am not able to comment on the exact parameters or scope of the taskforce at this point, but I can assure Lord Rennard that work is taking place within Departments at pace to define exactly these points.
In addition, national security is a priority for this Government, and there are already numerous workstreams underway to add resilience and robustness to our democracy, including the Defending Democracy programme established in 2019 and the National Security Bill.