Labour criticised on civil rights record


Coalition MPs have rejected the opposition's concerns over counter-terrorism powers, after Labour tabled a debate calling on the government to set up a cross-party review of Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures.

The Home Office oversaw the replacement of Labour's control orders with T-Pims in 2012, which scrapped relocation orders and have a two-year time limit.

Home Secretary Theresa May said of the current regime: "We're stopping terrorist suspects from travelling abroad, we're depriving them from the option of coming back, we're deporting foreign terror suspects, and we're doing more to tackle home-grown radicalisation."

She declined to answer repeated questions from the opposition, as the debate on 21 January 2014 continued, about whether she had faith that none of the suspects due for release from T-Pims continued to pose a threat to the public.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper earlier addressed Mrs May when she claimed: "You and I would agree that control orders without relocation powers and the regime that operated before 2007 were not strong enough."

She went on: "My response to that was to say keep relocation powers. Your response to that was to say ditch them and you have lost two terror suspects as result."

But the SNP's Pete Wishart objected that she was trying to "take us back to the bad old days of Labour's anti-civil liberties state", and Lib Dem Julian Huppert accused Labour of believing "people who've never been convicted of a crime should simply have the key thrown away".

Labour chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, advised more work to counter problems with both control orders and T-Pims he summarised as a "lack of engagement with those who have been the subject of those orders".

MPs later voted against the Labour motion by 312 to 236.

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