Ed Miliband calls for security agencies overhaul

Prism leaks show need for radical change, claims Labour leader.

The way the UK's three intelligence agencies are governed is in need of a radical shakeup, according to Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Delivering the annual Hugo Young memorial lecture at the Guardian's offices in Kings Place, London, Miliband said reforming the oversight of GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 was a key part of his plan to challenge what he described as "unaccountable power".

"I already believe...there are clearly changes that are going to need to be made in relation to the intelligence and security committee and the oversight it provides," said Miliband.

"That is everything from the resources they have at their disposal, who chairs the committee and whether it should be somebody from the government party or the opposition party, their power to compel witnesses a range of issues," he added.

Miliband went on to praise President Barack Obama's handling of the situation in the United States.

Referring to the panel appointed by the White House in the wake of the leaks from Snowden, the Labour leader said: "President Obama has started an important debate in the US and that is a debate that needs to take place here too."

Miliband took care to state he is supportive of the security services and that ministerial oversight of the agencies was a good thing, but that change is needed.

His comments are part of the ongoing fallout surrounding the Prism scandal, in which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents purporting to show GCHQ was working with the American spy agency to monitor global electronic communications.

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