Grant Shapps MP

Grant Shapps MP (Conservative) MP for Welwyn Hatfield


Communications Data Bill

Grant Shapps' researcher replied to a constituent letter with this message:

Date: Wed, 1 May 2013
Grant would like to thank you for contacting him about the draft Communications Data Bill and he has asked me to reply personally to your concerns.
Communications data is vital for the police in their fight against crime, including serious offences such as child abuse, drug dealing and terrorism.
It is imperative that we get the balance right between upholding civil liberties and the right to privacy and protecting the public by maintaining the ability of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to access vital communications data in an ever more ::dangerous world. Communications data has played a role in 95 per cent of all serious organised crime investigations and every major Security Service counter-terrorism operation over the last decade. Over time, 25 per cent of communications data required ::by the police and agencies can no longer be acquired because the relevant data is not available at the necessary level of quality and timeliness – we need to halt and reverse this.
As you may be aware, the Intelligence and Security Committee and a joint committee of both Houses recently conducted pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Communications Data Bill. The Home Office considered the recommendations of these committees ::and will be accepting the substance of all of them and re-drafting the legislation on that basis. We do not yet know if this Bill will be included in the Queen’s Speech. However, the joint committee did consult widely on the proposed content, issuing a call for ::evidence from interested organisations and individuals last July.
Grant is reassured that the Government is committed to legislating to ensure the law enforcement and intelligence agencies continue to have access to the communications data they need with suitable safeguards for civil liberties.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact Grant about this important issue and I hope that you find this information useful. However, if you do have any further questions please do not hesitate in getting back in contact.

DNA database

Very against innocent people being held on the database. Is running a national campaign, "Children off the National DNA Database".

Fighting to get 27,000 "innocent" Children OFF the National DNA Database. Contained within this number are children who have never been charged or cautioned and in the opinion of this campaign, where the police have no particular suspicion about their being involved in any wrong-doing, they should be removed.

Written question DNA Database 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people under 18 years who have DNA profiles stored on the national database have not been charged or cautioned for an offence; and if he will make a statement.

Written question DNA Database 6 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have had profiles stored on the National DNA Database since 10 January 2006; how many profiles are stored on the National Database; and if he will make a statement.

Written question DNA Database 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests have been received from other nations for details from the national DNA database concerning people who were added to the database when they were under 18 years and not charged or cautioned with any offence.

Plus many more questions on the DNA database

Wrote Early Day Motion 1697 Use of the DNA database 27 Febuary 2006

That this House expresses its concern about the retention of DNA data taken from children aged 10 to 18 years who have never been charged or cautioned with any offence; notes large regional differences in retention policy between various police forces; and believes that this imbalance is being further exacerbated by the Government's unwillingness to issue clear guidelines to chief constables about the removal of innocent children from the National Police DNA Database.

Identity cards

Signed Early Day Motion 263 Identity Cards 06 June 2005

That this House believes that a convincing case for the introduction of compulsory biometric identity cards and a national database has not been made, that the risks involved far outweigh any discernible benefit, that the introduction of identity cards will fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state, diminish personal privacy and threaten civil liberties, that the present proposals do not provide properly costed, proportionate or effective solutions to the problems they are claimed to solve; and calls upon the Government to shelve plans for their introduction.

Freedom of Information

Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006

That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.



2009-07-02 - The Conservative Party - Is the internet the saviour or corruptor of democracy?
Author: Grant Shapps MP
Summary: Last night I was the only politician on a panel at a Henry Jackson Society debate The Internet: Saviour or Corruptor of Democracy? For what it’s worth, my contention is that the Internet is not just good for democracy, but could well be its saviour. New technology has the potential to open up the system in a way that has never been seen before. After all, at no other time in history has it been possible to gauge the reaction of constituents so swiftly, to be more transparent about what you're doing or to quickly build a grass-root campaign about any subject under the sun. ... at a more mundane level I do know that it will always help me to stay better connected with my constituents and, as such, I reckon that overall it's becoming pretty good for democracy.
2009-06-10 - The Conservative Party - Using new media to build bridges and renew trust
Author: Grant Shapps MP
Summary: As I travelled around the country in the six weeks leading up to the local and European elections, I spent around 20 seconds each day updating my twitter status. "Today I'm visiting a social enterprise homeless hostel in Newcastle" or "Squeezing in an extra couple of hours campaigning in Blackpool before returning to campaign in Welwyn Hatfield" and so on. ... I became an early adopter of twitter in the Spring of 2008 - that's a whole lifetime as far as this particular web 2.0 technology is concerned. ... The days of politicians hiding away at Westminster out of sight and mind of their electorates have gone. The world has moved on and it's vital that those of us elected to represent others don't just begrudgingly follow from a distance, but lead both on and offline from the front.
2007-01-09 - ARCH - So that’s a ‘no’, then.
Summary: Just before Christmas, we mentioned that we were still waiting for answers to parliamentary questions about the retention of children’s DNA tabled by Grant Shapps MP. ... But apparently the Home Office can’t give the figure for the number of unconvicted juveniles on the National DNA Database...?
2006-02-16 - BBC - Under-18s DNA records to continue
Summary: Police can keep storing the DNA profiles of thousands of children and young people, ministers have decided.Tory MP Grant Shapps last month pressed for the details of 24,000 under-18s never cautioned, charged or convicted to be removed from the police database.He claimed a national DNA database was being created by stealth.