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Labour calls for independent probe into MI5 abuse case

HOME Secretary Priti Patel is facing calls to investigate reports an MI5 agent exploited his status to terrorise and attack his girlfriend.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that there needed to be an “independent assessment” of how the “troubling” case was handled, after the BBC reported the man attacked the woman with a machete and threatened to kill her.

It comes as it emerged the woman, known in the report as Beth, which is not her real name, has launched a legal case against MI5.

The Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) said that she has launched a legal complaint and made a claim in the investigatory powers tribunal as well as potentially looking at taking action against the police.

The BBC reported the story on Thursday for the first time since a ruling in a legal battle where the government sought to block publication of the agent’s identity.

An injunction — which the government said is in the interests of national security and to avoid an immediate risk to life, safety and privacy — remains in place preventing the corporation from disclosing information likely to identify the man, referred to only as “X,” who is said to be a covert human intelligence source.

Ms Cooper said: “The Home Secretary needs to ensure that there is an independent assessment of this very troubling case and how it has been handled – including looking at safeguarding responsibilities, the way that concerns about domestic abuse are handled by MI5 and at the criminal investigation that took place.

“Domestic abuse is an appalling and dangerous crime and victims need to know that it will always be taken immensely seriously by all agencies, especially those responsible for keeping us safe.”

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