'Britain's involvement in the barbaric mistreatment of terror suspects will not be investigated by a judge-led inquiry, ministers said yesterday – leading to outrage and claims of a cover-up.
The Government rejected calls for an independent probe to examine UK complicity in torture and rendition during the so-called War on Terror.
Furious MPs, including ex-Tory ministers, and human rights campaigners accused the Prime Minister of ‘breaking a promise’ to hold those responsible for abusing detainees to account – and warned they would mount a legal challenge.
But Theresa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington said there was ‘no legal obligation’ and it would not bring ‘closure’, which has raised concerns the scandal is being brushed under the carpet.
Critics said failing to fulfil the Tory party’s pledge to hold an inquiry, chaired by a senior judge, will mean never discovering the truth about some of Britain’s darkest days. Last year, a bombshell report by Parliament’s intelligence watchdog confirmed that Tony Blair’s New Labour government and the security services colluded with the US in torture and ‘extraordinary rendition’, where suspects are flown to another country for imprisonment and interrogation.
The secretive Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) dossier laid bare how British spy chiefs tolerated ‘inexcusable’ mistreatment of detainees in the years after the Al Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001.
It was ‘beyond doubt’ that Britain knew hundreds of detainees were subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, it added.
Following the report’s publication, Mrs May said the security and intelligence agencies ‘regretted’ not recognising the ‘unacceptable practices’ sooner. She said the Government would give ‘careful consideration’ to holding a judge-led inquiry.
But in a statement to the Commons – a year after Parliament was told a decision would be made within 60 days – Mr Lidington closed the door on a fresh probe.'
Read more: Will this torture cover-up ever end? Ministers reject probe into British complicity in extradition and abuse of terror suspects
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