A new cross-party committee of backbench MPs will investigate the UK’s role in the CIA’s &;dquo;extraordinary renditons” flights, the *Guardian *reports today.

Andrew Tyrie (Conservative), Sir Menzies Campbell (Lib Dem) and Foreign Office minister Chris Mullin (Labour) are leading the effort.

While the UK government is strangely silent on CIA flights stopping over on its own soil, other European countries are more concerned about the practice, leading to rather strange situation reported by the Associated Press:

Britain has agreed to write to the United States on behalf of the European Union requesting clarification of reports of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, a diplomat said Tuesday.

Britain, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, was asked by several nations including Finland and the Netherlands to write the letter during a EU foreign ministers meeting Monday, the European diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (which, contrary to some headlines, is not an EU body despite confusingly using the same flag) is also looking into CIA rendition flights and their connection to the alleged CIA “black site” prisons in Eastern Europe.

Swiss liberal senator Dick Marty, who is leading the COE parliamentarians’ investigation, says that he has no proof of the existance of the “black sites”, but is investigating 31 flights that landed in Europe and seeking satellite images of sites in Romania and Poland.