Nick Clegg
The deputy prime minister's comments come after the Senate report into CIA torture techniques Reuters

Nick Clegg has hinted he would support an inquiry into Britain's possible involvement in torture.

The UK deputy prime minister, speaking on LBC radio, said once the police and the intelligence and security committee (ISC), which is considering the findings of the interim Sir Peter Gibson report into torture, have finished their investigations, "we should keep an open mind, if we need to, about moving to a full judicial inquiry if there are any outstanding questions".

"I think, once the police are investigations are done, once this report from the intelligence and security committee is done, we should keep an open mind, if we need to, about moving to a full judicial inquiry if there are any outstanding questions," Clegg said.

"Because I'm like everybody else; I want the truth out there. And that's one of the big differences; however shocking the Senate report is, it is worth remembering – I doubt very much any state run by [Islamic State] or al-Qaeda would ever have the maturity to lift the lid on its own mistakes in a way that a mature democracy like America has done."

The Liberal Democrat leader made the comments after a caller to the show said Western governments should "fight fire with fire" in their efforts on tackling Islamic terrorist groups, following the publication of a report into CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques" from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

"Morally speaking, if you are defending the values of decency, dignity before the law and human rights - that's we do in democracies - if we instead lower ourselves to their level and use their methods by using torture, then we destroy the very values we are trying to protect," Clegg argued.

"According to the Senate Committee's report, which makes very, very, shocking reading indeed, they don't think it actually kept us any safer anyway."

The CIA said information obtained from detainees played a role, in combination with other streams of intelligence, in finding Osama bin Laden.

But Clegg said torture could not be used under any circumstances.

He said: "The moment you abandon the very values you claim to be defending, it's no longer about whether you win or lose one particular initiative or whether you find the location of one particular individual – you have lost the war before you've even waged the battle."