May pledges to axe human rights
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is prepared to scrap human rights laws that restrict new tougher legislation to tackle terror, in a classic “dog whistle” to consolidate right-wing voters ahead of Thursday’s general election.
May said she would make it easier to deport foreign terror suspects “to their own countries” and “restrict the freedom and movements of terrorist suspects” if she is re-elected.
The former home affairs minister said she would to change the laws if they impeded efforts to fight the increasingly “complex” terror threat.
“As we see the threat changing, evolving, becoming a more complex threat, we need to make sure that our police and security and intelligence agencies have the powers they need,” May told a rally in Slough.
May has faced questions about why the three Islamist terrorists who killed seven in London last weekend were free to attack despite two of them of them being on the radar of the police or the domestic security service, MI5. She has also been challenged over a 20,000 reduction in police numbers while she was home secretary and prime minister.
May continued: “I mean longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences. I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terrorist suspects back to their own countries. And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they are a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.
“And if our human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change the laws so we can do it.
“If I am elected as prime minister on Thursday, that work begins on Friday. And if human rights laws get in the way of doing these things, we will change those laws to make sure we can do them.
“If I am elected as Prime Minister on Thursday, I can tell you that this vital work begins on Friday.”
May already announced plans for longer sentences for terrorists and a clamp down on internet firms that enable access to extremist material.
She will extend the powers of police and the courts to restrict the movements of suspects using Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures.
It would mean suspects could be kept under curfew for longer periods each day, tighter controls on suspects associating with each other and more bans on people using mobile phones and the internet.
The remarks mark another trademark May U-turn, this time on the Conservative manifesto commitment to keep Britain in the European Convention on Human Rights until 2022.
Picture credit: Eurasia Times