Theresa May says Britain is set to pull out of the discredited European Convention on Human Rights that has allowed dangerous criminals and hate preachers to remain in the UK. The European Convention has led to such hugely controversial decisions as banning the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada and giving British prisoners the right to vote.
UK Daily Mail The historic move, to be announced soon by Home Secretary Theresa May, would mean foreign courts could no longer meddle in British justice.The European Convention has led to such hugely controversial decisions as banning the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada and giving British prisoners the right to vote.
Mrs May’s bold proposals to include the move in the next Tory Election manifesto reflect the party’s growing hostility towards Europe. If enacted, her policy would leave British judges free to interpret the law without interference from the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Mrs May wants to withdraw from the convention before the next Election in 2015, but Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a keen pro-European, has made it clear he will veto the initiative.
As a result, it is set to be a manifesto promise to be put into action if David Cameron wins an overall majority. Together with the Prime Minister’s vow to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, it will give the Tory manifesto a strong anti-European theme to combat the increasing appeal of UKIP.
The provisions of the European convention are already enshrined in British law in the Human Rights Act – but under Mrs May’s plan, the final right of appeal would be to the British Supreme Court, not Strasbourg.
The proposal is bound to be seen as a response to the Tories’ humiliation of being beaten into third place in the Eastleigh by-election by Nigel Farage’s rampant UKIP. But well-placed sources insist the Home Secretary has been working on the issue for months, supported by Mr Cameron and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, and say it is not a ‘knee jerk’ response to the drubbing.
Last night, Nick de Bois, secretary of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs and a member of the Commons Justice Select Committee, hailed the move as ‘hugely significant’. He said: ‘This would be a crucial pledge that will convince many, many voters to return a Conservative government at the next Election.
‘It is imperative that we have legal decisions made here, not in Strasbourg. With this pledge, no longer will foreign criminals be able to take refuge in this country when they should be deported immediately after being released from prison.’