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New Clause 1 — Retention, destruction and use of fingerprints and samples

Part of Crime and Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 8th March 2010.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone 5:30 pm, 8th March 2010

I just do not believe in written constitutions or in the charter of fundamental rights. I believe in the rights of the people, but they should not be entrenched and then adjudicated, in respect of sensitive political matters, by judges who, by definition, are not elected. I had a debate only a few days ago with Richard Gordon QC, who has just written a book called "Repairing British Politics: A Blueprint for Constitutional Change". He calls for a written constitution, but his idea of constitutional supremacy is, unfortunately for him, dependent on the fact that all the matters in his constitution would be subjected to the European convention on human rights, the European Union and the judgments of the European Court of Justice.

I believe very strongly, and many others in this country would agree, that there are perfectly sound reasons, of which the new clause put forward by my party's Front Benchers takes account, for disagreeing with the hon. Member for Dismore- [ Interruption. ] "Dismal" came to mind, but I must not go down that route. The hon. Member for Hendon simply falls back on what the European convention on human rights and the Joint Committee on Human Rights say, but it is not the function of this House to refer continuously to those abstract principles when we are quite capable. Historically, to answer Chris Huhne, the fact that the convention happens to have been passed is not a justification for hanging on to it.