Lord West of Spithead

Lord West of Spithead Labour Peer. Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office since 1 August 2007. AKA Alan West. Chancellor of Southampton Solent University. Lord West joined the Royal Navy in 1965 and spent the majority of his career at sea, serving in fourteen different ships, and commanding three of them. He was the former First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, as such, he was head of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Qinetiq

Lord West is a former chairman of the Defence Advisory Board at security firm Qinetiq. Qinetiq are a client of the UK Government. They have done work on how to run digital forensic investigations of data held on cloud services to aid law enforcement.[1]

Issues

Identity cards

The BBC Politics Show Lord West interview transcript 4 November 2007

"National identity cards will play an important part, a very important part in countering terrorism, there's no doubt about that. I mean, one can think of all sorts of reasons one might not like them, but actually, in terms of counter-terrorism, they will be extremely useful."[2]

Selected Entries from Hansard

Communications Data Bill

"My Lords, does the Minister agree that this is about just the envelope and not the letter, that this material has always been available and it is merely that different ways of charging will mean that it stops being available? It is not anything new."[3]

"The Minister will be aware that since the revelations of the traitor Snowden, terrorist groups—in particular ISIL—have changed their methods of communications, and have shifted to other ways of talking to each other. Consequently there are people dying who would otherwise be alive. Does the Minister agree that it is now critical that we move forward the Communications Data Bill, which was paused so unreasonably, because there is a very real danger that unless we do—and I am not exaggerating in saying this—people in this country will die who would have been safe if it was in place"[4]

Intercept Evidence in Court

"My Lords, I am scarred from two years of my Liberal Democrat friends slapping me around when I was in government because I took too long to do anything about this. I am glad that now they are in a coalition, they are finding this quite a difficult issue. Does the Minister not agree that some 25 years ago terrorists did not know that when they picked up a mobile phone we would get them straight away? Now there are techniques that, if exposed, would mean that we would not get the tip-offs that we get all the time which allow us to monitor whole teams of people who wish to do our nation harm."[5]

Entries in the Register of Interests

Register of Lords Interests. - as of 3rd June 2013

Category 1: Directorships

Chairman, Spearfish Maritime Security Limited [ security company specialising in yachting, maritime operations and the security industry ]

Category 10: Non-financial interests (b)

Chancellor, Southampton Solent University

Category 10: Non-financial interests (c)

Trustee, Imperial War Museum

Category 10: Non-financial interests (e)

President, Merchant Navy Medal Fund


Amendments to the Register of Lords' Interests since June 2010. - as of 3rd June 2013

Category 1: Directorships

Interest deleted 13/03/2013 Chairman, Magic Industries Limited (refurbishment)

Interest added 19/12/2012 Chairman, Spearfish Maritime Security Limited

Category 2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.

Interest deleted 19/12/2012 Strategic Adviser, Primetake plc (specialist products for armed forces, police, prisons) - [ ammunition company ]

Interest deleted 14/09/2011 Member, HSBC International Advisory Board

Category 10: Non-financial interests (e)

Interest deleted 19/12/2012 Chairman, CVQO (Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation)

Links

News

2007-11-05 - The Register - Security minister defends ID cards, longer detention

Lewis Page

Author: Lewis Page
Summary: The Liberal Democrat party has attacked the proposed National ID card scheme, on the grounds that the government cannot effectively implement simpler plans such as passport interviews. But the new government security minister has mounted a spirited defence. "The Government has made a total mess of introducing interviews for first-time passport applicants," said Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman. ... But Baron West of Spithead, ennobled and installed as security minister by the incoming Brown administration, defended the passport scheme in a BBC interview. "What I particularly like in my counter-terrorist role," he said, "is the fact that we're going for two biometrics, for passports for people coming into this country and our passport holders - that will help without a doubt, in being able to pin down the terrorist movement and who terrorists are..." The new security supremo also said he hadn't heard anything about the government going cold on ID cards, and that he was looking forward to them. "National identity cards will play an important part, a very important part in countering terrorism, there's no doubt about that," he said. "I mean, one can think of all sorts of reasons one might not like them, but actually, in terms of counter-terrorism, they will be extremely useful." Lord West is on record as believing that the UK faces a 15-year war against terrorism.
2007-11-05 - The Independent - ID cards plan behind schedule and soaring in cost, say critics
Author: Andrew Grice
Summary: The Government's plan to bring in identity cards is running behind schedule and the cost is soaring, according to critics. Ministers have revealed they have spent £69m on opening 59 passport interview centres that will form the core of the ID registration network. ... Lord West of Spithead, the Security minister and former First Sea Lord, told the BBC's Politics Show: "National identity cards will play an important part, a very important part in countering terrorism, there's no doubt about that. I mean, one can think of all sorts of reasons one might not like them, but actually, in terms of counter-terrorism, they will be extremely useful."
2007-11-05 - The Times - Lord West defends identity card scheme
Summary: Lord West of Spithead, the Security Minister, defended the identity cards project after reports that Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, wanted to shelve the controversial scheme. Lord West said that the cards would play an "important role in countering terrorism". It was reported that the Prime Minister would postpone plans to make ID cards compulsory but Lord West said that he was not aware of that. He said on BBC One: "Identity cards in a purely counter-terrorist role will be of help."
2006-10-15 - Qinetiq lands top admiral
Summary: Admiral Sir Alan West, who commanded the Royal Navy from 2002 until last February, will become chairman of Qinetiq’s recently formed defence advisory board. Sir Alan has been asked to help develop Qinetiq’s relationship with the defence establishment, and will be recruiting other top defence experts to the advisory board.


References

  1. https://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/w/images/e/e9/DigitalInvestigationsInTheCloud.pdf
  2. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/130320-0001.htm#st_24
  3. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/130320-0001.htm#st_24
  4. Hansard, 2014-11-25
  5. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/120724-0001.htm#12072470000030