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Prevention of Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 10th March 2005.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 6:00 pm, 10th March 2005

I am not giving way, as I have already made clear.

The question to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was:

"Do you have a feeling that the legislation"— on the prevention of terrorism—

"is being prepared so rapidly by the Government because of concerns over the general election?"

That was putting the Opposition's allegations directly to the commissioner. He answered:

"I cannot say that, but I can say very clearly that the Government is in a position that on Monday if this legislation is not passed these men must be released from Belmarsh".

That was the commissioner speaking. He continued:

"I think that will be a grave threat to the national security, I can certainly say that."

The evidence from the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who had the job of dealing with the post-9/11 situation, and the current Metropolitan Police Commissioner, is absolutely clear on this question.