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Thread: Blair Defeated Over Terror Laws

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Blair Defeated Over Terror Laws

    Blair defeated over terror laws

    (Gold9472: The thing about Britain is this... they've had to contend with the IRA for YEARS. They are all too familiar with "terrorism". They saw right through Blair's bullshit.)


    Prime Minister Tony Blair has lost the key House of Commons vote on plans to allow police to hold terror suspects without charge for up to 90 days.

    MPs rejected the plans by 322 votes to 291 - a bigger than expected majority of 31. It is Mr Blair's first defeat since Labour came to power in 1997.

    The defeat will be seen as a blow to the authority of Mr Blair, who said MPs had a "duty" to support the police.

    MPs later backed a compromise detention time limit of 28 days.

    Labour has a majority over other parties of 66 but the defeat does not mean Mr Blair will have to stand down as prime minister - something he has said he will do before the next election.

    Liberal Democrat frontbencher Simon Hughes said the defeat marked a "momentous day" which could bring forward Mr Blair's departure from office.

    "It was a major error of judgement and it undermines Mr Blair's chances of staying on," said Mr Hughes.

    'No police state'
    The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and some Labour backbenchers said the 90-day plans went too far.

    Civil liberties groups compared the proposal to internment - a charge rejected by ministers.

    In his final plea for MPs to back the plans, Mr Blair urged MPs to take the advice of the police who had foiled two terrorist plots since the 7 July attacks in London.

    In heated exchanges at prime minister's questions, Mr Blair said: "We are not living in a police state but we are living in a country that faces a real and serious threat of terrorism."

    Ministers tried to reassure waverers by promising that the new laws would expire unless MPs renewed them in a year's time.

    Conservative leader Michael Howard warned that the detention plans could alienate ethnic minority communities.

    Shuttle diplomacy?
    Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said the measure would almost certainly be defeated in the House of Lords, where two ex-law lords had called it "intolerable".

    The prime minister admitted he could lose the vote but argued: "Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing."

    In a sign of the importance given to the vote, Chancellor Gordon Brown was called back within minutes of arriving in Israel for a high profile visit.

    And Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also flew back early from EU-Russia talks in Moscow.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Partridge Guest
    Blair defeated on 90 days

    The Guardian

    Tony Blair's government tonight suffered its first ever defeat since coming to power, as MPs voted down proposals to allow police to hold terrorist suspects for 90 days without charge.
    Despite last-minute appeals from the prime minister, and the return from overseas visits by both Gordon Brown and Jack Straw in order to vote, the government was defeated on the issue by 322 votes to 291.

    The Commons will now vote on a series of compromise amendments, putting the maximum detention period at 28 days, or 60 days. The current limit is 14.

    Article continues
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    But the defeat is a personal blow for Mr Blair, who strongly backed the police's demand for a three-month period. Early reports indicated that 41 Labour MPs had rebelled against the government.

    Earlier today, at prime minister's questions, Mr Blair told MPs to have a "sense of responsibility" and back the police's demand for a 90-day limit.

    In heated exchanges between the prime minister and opposition leaders at question time, Mr Blair said it was his duty and "the duty of every member of this house" to support the police's request. In a 30-minute session dominated by the issue, one Tory backbencher shouted "police state" at Mr Blair.

    Tory leader Michael Howard said angrily: "We all want to fight terrorism effectively."

    But he argued that the government had failed to justify the need for 90-day detention and warned of riots, like those in France, if minority ethnic communities were alienated by the legislation.

    Mr Blair reminded undecided Conservative MPs sitting behind Mr Howard that the "the police and those charged with fighting terrorism said the 90-day power was needed to make the country safe".

    "You and your colleagues are going to have to make your decision today," he told Mr Howard.

    "We have made ours. We believe this is right for our country. We believe it is necessary to protect our country from terrorism and I'm only sorry you don't agree."

    With the government unsure of securing victory for the 90-day proposal later this afternoon, the cabinet ministers Mr Brown and Mr Straw were both ordered back from foreign visits by the chief whip to bolster the government's vote in the lobbies. With most Conservatives, all Liberal Democrats and many Labour MPs ready to vote against holding terror suspects for 90 days without charge, every vote was important.

    Labour loyalist Janet Anderson tabled a "fallback" amendment of 60 days, but Labour dissenter David Winnick also retabled his original proposal of 28 days - a period the Tories were prepared to accept.

    Ms Anderson told Guardian Unlimited this morning: "I hope the house will support the amendment for 90 days as this is clearly what the police feel they need in order to properly protest the public from the terrorist threat.

    "However, my reason for tabling my amendment is that I hope, should the 90 days amendment fall, that colleagues may feel able to coalesce around my amendment, thus giving the police at least more time than they have at their disposal now."

    Facing the possibility of the first defeat of his premiership, Mr Blair said he preferred to be right and lose than back down given the "compelling" case that the police had made to extend their powers of investigation.

    "Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing," he said.

    Labour backbenchers made clear their concerns about the legislation a week ago, when the government's 66-seat majority was slashed to just one after 31 Labour MPs rebelled over another aspect of the bill. A rebel amendment to make an offence of "glorification" of terrorism carry "intent" was defeated.

  3. #3
    Partridge Guest
    Oh yeah, I forgot to add


    Go fuck yourself Tony! Fuck yourself up the arse with a rolled up copy of the defeated bill.

    A rebel amendment to make an offence of "glorification" of terrorism carry "intent" was defeated.
    Thats BAD news though!

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