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In 1966, the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, made a statement in the House of Commons declaring that MPs telephone calls would not be intercepted. He also said that if this policy were to change he would tell the House about it, when it was compatible with national security to do so. Since that time, many governments have stated that they continue to abide by the Wilson Doctrine, as the statement became known, which was also extended in 1997 by then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to other forms of communication. This In Focus note examines the Wilson Doctrine and the findings of an Investigatory Powers Tribunal in October 2015, which considered its current application.

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