Problems in Abu Qatada case exacerbated by human rights legislation, says MP

24th April 2013

Following the Home Secretary’s statement to the House of Commons on the case of Abu Qatada, Eleanor Laing says that the problems have been made more difficult by the human rights legislation passed by the previous Government.

Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con): My right hon. Friend will be well aware of the widespread anger throughout the country about the amount of time it is taking to deal with this, but is she also aware that there is widespread understanding throughout the country, if not among every Member of the House, that there is an obligation on the Home Secretary and the Government to obey the law and abide by the decision of the courts, so we appreciate that she has no choice in the matter? Will she confirm that the Government’s position is made more difficult by the human rights legislation that the previous Labour Government passed in this House, although Labour Members take no responsibility whatsoever for the mess that we are in?

Mrs May: I thank my hon. Friend for her comments. She is absolutely right to remind us that the previous Labour Government passed the Human Rights Act. Several Labour Members have spoken about dealing with human rights, but they brought the European convention into British legislation, and we will have to deal with that legislation if we are to sort out the wider issue of our relationship with the European Court.

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