"Part IV — Bail

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 11th June 2008.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Home Secretary 12:43 pm, 11th June 2008

New clauses 20 to 22, 24 to 30 and 32, and new schedule 1, introduce amendments to strengthen considerably the safeguards that we want to apply to any future use of the provision in this Bill for a reserve power to extend the period for which terrorist suspects could be held before charge. The Government believe that such a reserve power should be available, for use if necessary, to protect our national security and, most importantly, our people against the threat that we face from terrorism.

That threat is real and serious. First, the threat is unprecedented in scale. Some 65 terrorists have been convicted in our courts since the start of 2007, and there are more than 200 groupings and 200 individuals of concern to agencies in the UK today. Secondly, the threat is more ruthless than any we have faced before. It aims for mass casualties, uses suicide methods, and would use dirty bombs given half a chance.

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