Bernard Jenkin MP


Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex (since 1992). Executive Member of the 1922 Committee.



Responding to a constituent's email as part of the Don't Spy On Us campaign, Bernard Jenkin sent this reply:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the above subject.

I want to start by recognising the essential work that our intelligence agencies do for us day in, day out to keep this country safe by confronting the diverse terrorist threat that this country continues to face.

It is important to balance protecting national security and protecting the British public with the potential intrusion on individuals’ rights to privacy that could be caused by intelligence activity.

That is why I am pleased that the work of the intelligence agencies is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that their activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate. There is rigorous oversight from Secretaries of State, the Interception of Communications Commissioner and the Intelligence Services Commissioner, and in Parliament from the Intelligence and Security Committee.

This oversight was strengthened by the Justice and Security Act 2013 which reformed the Intelligence and Security Committee. The Act made it a Committee of Parliament, providing greater powers, and increased its remit, including oversight of operational activity and the wider intelligence and security activities of Government.

I can assure you that GCHQ operates at all times in accordance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). GCHQ’s activity is overseen by the commissioners, who analyse its work in detail. They also analyse some of the codes of practice that the agencies have in place to ensure their adherence to RIPA.

I hope this helps highlight the strength of the scrutiny that we have and the different layers of checks and balances that operate in this country. I believe that we have every reason to be proud of those oversight arrangements and of the work of our agencies.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Yours sincerely Bernard Jenkin

The Hon Bernard Jenkin MP Chairman of The Public Administration Select Committee Room 604 Portcullis House House of Commons London SW1A OAA Telephone: 020 7219 4029 Email:

Postal Voting

Westminster Hall debate Postal Voting 16 September 2004 "...I note the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley concerning electronic voting. It takes just a moment's thought to realise how clever hackers have become and how vulnerable an electoral system could be to hacking. We get used to banking and using our credit cards online, but it is a constant battle for the financial institutions to protect themselves from hacking. Are we really going to trust our solid and dependable, but perhaps less expert, returning officers and local government officials with such a big challenge, given that public confidence will be undermined as soon as anybody starts throwing allegations around?..."

Prior Career

Worked at Ford, and in private equity.


English Literature at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.


Vice President of Combat Stress, which offers treatment to ex-servicemen and women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Vice Chairman of Conservative Party until 2006. In 2009, he submitted questions to over a dozen deparments asking how they recruited for positions for people without access to the internet. [1], [2], [3]


Bernard Jenkin MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA;; 020 7219 0253.