Government says bill is not a ‘licence to kill’ but critics call for limits on agents’ activities

A bill allowing confidential informants working for MI5 and the police to break the law will be introduced on Thursday amid a row about whether committing crimes such as murder and torture should be explicitly banned.

The government says that the covert human intelligence sources bill does not amount to a “licence to kill” because it will be compliant with the European convention on human rights, which safeguards the right to life and prohibits torture.

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