Bishop of Leeds asks about recent security breach by the Home Secretary

The Lord Bishop of Leeds asked a question about security breaches during a debate on use of private mobile telephones and email accounts by ministers on Wednesday 2nd November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I sympathise over the complexity of this matter, particularly given the technological developments, but there is the question of principle, which does not particularly relate to the recent cases cited. Several decades ago, when I was at GCHQ, the slightest security misdemeanour meant that you lost your job. Does that principle—that making a serious security error has consequences and a simple apology will not do—still apply? I cannot think of another circumstance in which an apology would have sufficed.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con): I am glad that we have the advice of somebody who used to work at GCHQ; it shows the breadth of this House and what we are able to do on security. I have explained that the Home Secretary apologised and that she resigned. We have discussed before that she has come back—you can have redemption in this life. You need to have respect for security and make sure that you are ahead of the game but, occasionally, you also need to be able to say, “I did the wrong thing”, and you need to be forgiven.


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