Yet further evidence of Labour’s confused and confusing approach to inquiries comes in the Home Secretary’s refusal to consider such a probe into the July 7 bombings in London.

On the day that five men were given life sentences for a foiled bomb attack, an influential group of MPs announced it would begin a new investigation into the way security services acted in the run-up to the July 7 attack.

The move came after it emerged MI5 were watching two of the 7/7 attackers while investigating the foiled bombers, but took no action. There is also considerable concern that the West Yorkshire Police’s special branch were not informed of MI5 operations.

Now the Intelligence and Security Committee, led by its chairman Paul Murphy MP, will look again at why the 7/7 bombers were not picked up.

The committee under the chairmanship of the quiet but thorough Mr Murphy will certainly ask some difficult questions.

But the fact that John Reid has claimed a full-scale inquiry into the way the security services handled the run-up to the 7/7 attacks is not the “correct response” is a cause for concern.

It fuels the conspiracy theorists who are already making substantial mischief over the July 7 attacks. More worryingly, it suggests that MI5 and others should not be held accountable for their actions.

We are continually told of the new threats to national security that are emerging and the new challenges facing those charged with identifying and capturing those who are a danger.

Yet how can we have any degree of confidence in those charged with maintaining national security if their apparent failures are not subjected to proper scrutiny?

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