Pressure From Courts And Victims Forced Government's Hand

The scope of the torture inquiry outlined by David Cameron today followed weeks of negotiations between Cameron and Nick Clegg; talks that were influenced by conversations not only with senior civil servants, but also with the security services, eminent judges and experts in international law. But it was the prime minister who took the decision to allow a judge to head the inquiry, after Clegg persuaded him not to succumb to arguments that a retired politician could do the job. Leading figures within both parties of the coalition had concluded that an inquiry was inevitable because of the noxious position they had inherited. A growing number of victims of torture and rendition were suing the government, judges had ruled that evidence of torture could not be kept secret in those cases, and the courts were showing a willingness to hold the government and its intelligence agencies to account. Scotland Yard had also begun unprecedented investigations into the conduct of two intelligence of