Orders of the Day — Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:22 pm on 26th October 2005.

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Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Labour, Oldham West and Royton 4:22 pm, 26th October 2005

Yes; I take that point and I support what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said on this. A definition that catches all those examples goes far too wide, and in my view the Bill does not pass that second test.

A third key test is whether the Bill is drawn so loosely that it is likely to be used rather more indiscriminately in future years against persons who are not necessarily the ostensible targets? There is plenty of evidence historically that that has been the result of using wide definitions. The best example, of course, is the stop and search legislation. Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which has been mentioned, has been used against anti-war protesters and arms trade protesters as well as, most notoriously, the 82-year-old Walter Wolfgang.