New Clause 6 — Power to make control orders

Part of Orders of the Day — Prevention of Terrorism Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:06 pm on 28th February 2005.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 11:06 pm, 28th February 2005

That is precisely the reverse of my position. I shall leave it at that.

I also think it important to ensure that the conditions of an order are intelligible to the person on whom they are imposed. Many such people will not have English as a first language, but there is no such provision in the Bill. Mr. Grieve raised another important point, about the temporary nature of the legislation. Surely we do not envisage the state of emergency described by the Government as being of indefinite duration—or perhaps we do. If so, the Bill deserves better scrutiny; if not, there should be a clear limit to its duration.

In short, the Bill as it is formulated simply will not do. I repeat that we recognise the dangers that the Government describe. We recognise the need to ensure that our citizens are properly protected. We are prepared to continue the dialogue and hope that it will be more fruitful than it has so far been, while acknowledging the very small movement that the Home Secretary has accepted. We believe—this is a fundamental principle—that the safety of the people is paramount, but the liberties of the people are also paramount. This House and the Executive have to find the balance. Frankly, this is no way in which to do it.