Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of Carers (Identification and Support) – in the House of Commons at 4:23 pm on 14th July 2010.

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Photo of David Winnick David Winnick Labour, Walsall North 4:23 pm, 14th July 2010

It is unlikely that Mr Davis and I agree on anything, except what we are now debating. We certainly see eye to eye on this question and have done for considerable time.

The figure of 28 days was not picked out of the air in November 2005, when the maximum period was 14 days and 90 days was proposed. It should be remembered that, in July that year, there had been a massacre-there is no other way to describe it-of 52 innocent people, with others seriously injured. A fortnight later, on 21 July 2005, there was another attempted atrocity. That was the situation that faced the House of Commons when we were debating the issue in November that year. Given those circumstances and the fact that the Government-wrongly in my view-wanted to increase the 14 days to 90 days, it is understandable that the House agreed to 28 days.

As far as I know, no one actually suggested that the 14 days should stay. There was no vote on whether 14 days should remain the status quo. There was more or less agreement-apart from in the Government and among those who supported the Government at the time-that the number of days of pre-charge detention should be doubled from 14 to 28 days. Those were the circumstances in which we debated the issue at the time.

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