42 day vote a defeat for civil liberties – Jo

Speculation is rife that a deal was done with DUP MPs to ensure the Government proposals would not be defeated

Jo Swinson has called last night’s crucial Parliamentary vote on 42 day detention without charge a hollow victory for the Government.

The Government’s proposal to extend the maximum permitted detention of terror suspects from 28 to 42 days was passed in the Commons by 315 votes to 306, after nine Democratic Union MPs backed it. This led to widespread speculation that DUP MPs were swayed by promises of extra money for Northern Ireland.

Jo said:

“Gordon Brown brought in this draconian measure to try and make himself look tough on terror. Instead, his vote begging and political bribery has left him looking weak and desperate. This is a cheap victory for the Government that comes at a huge cost to the civil liberties of the British people.

“No other country with a common law system is seeking anything like such a lengthy period of detention without charge. There is a real risk that this extension would alienate the very communities we are relying on for vital intelligence in the fight against terrorists.

“This has been an exercise in political posturing by the Government. Gordon Brown knows that, fortunately, opposition to these unnecessary proposals in the House of Lords will mean that they never reach the statute book.”

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