Dari Taylor (Stockton South, Labour)
I totally agree with the hon. Gentleman. The evidence gathering on Operation Overt was frankly scintillating. It was an amazing feat. It delivered in the most amazing manner. [ Interruption. ] All right. I will not go there.
This is just one example. I think there are many more. The unknown unknowns are an absolute for me. I am not prepared to move with the hon. Gentleman on the one that proves the case.
This is quite a difficult area on threshold tests. I see them as hugely unsatisfactory. I accept what Lord Carlile is saying.
I want to say something on human rights. The hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield made a statement that in my previous questioning to him I was suggesting that human rights were secondary. Nothing of the sort. They are precious. They are inviolable. They are very much more protected when you have a careful, judicial process that examines and supports their maintenance.
The procedure in the Bill is cumbersome but appropriate—to have a senior judge. I would not have any problem, Mr. Bercow, with an inquisitorial senior judge looking at the evidence to say whether or not seven further days should be given. I would see that as appropriate so that on extended detention, should that be the case, we achieve what we all want to achieve, that is failed terrorist plots.
We are being asked to support powers on an emergency basis, on a case by case basis, when it is believed by the police and by a judge, who will make a judgment on the evidence produced, that we need to extend the time that is allowed for pre-questioning. It is an emergency. It is temporary. I hear the cynicism about parliamentary oversight. I, too, had a question mark over it. However, it is a question mark no more. The requirement to have something on the shelf when necessary, if necessary, is totally appropriate. I ask the House to consider the matter again. The measure is temporary and for emergency purposes only. The pre-charge investigations are appropriate and I hope that we will find a way to support the extension to 42 days.