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October 2, 2011

IconTheresa May would ‘like to see the Human Rights Act go’

The Home Secretary has called for the abolition of the Human Rights Act in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph.

Theresa May argued that the current Act, which is based upon the European Convention on Human Rights, affords too many privileges to foreign nationals and suspected terrorists.

“I’d personally like to see the Human Rights Act go because I think we have had some problems with it,” she said.

“I see it, here in the Home Office, particularly, the sort of problems we have in being unable to deport people who perhaps are terrorist suspects. Obviously we’ve seen it with some foreign criminals who are in the UK.”

May’s suggestion will be backed by a considerable number of Conservative MPs and supporters. The party called for a “British Bill of Rights” to replace the existing Act in their 2010 election manifesto.

The proposals are likely to be opposed by the Liberal Democrats. “If Conservative backbenchers persist in wanting to tear up the European Convention on Human Rights, then I can foresee a time when this party would be extremely uncomfortable in coalition,” stated Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.

The Human Rights Act has formed the basis of a number of court rulings in favour of LGBT rights. James Welch, legal director of Liberty, argued last year that: “All of the advances that the LGBT community has achieved over recent decades have been driven – at least in part – by the European Convention on Human Rights.”

“Article 8 protects our right to love who we want while Article 14 protects us from discrimination. Enforcing these rights will be much more difficult if the Human Rights Act is repealed.”

An independent commission is currently investigating how a British Bill of Rights might be implemented.

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Ruth Pearce

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