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Protection of Freedoms Bill

Part of Resource Extraction (Transparency and Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 6:12 pm on 1st March 2011.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary, Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Women and Equalities) 6:12 pm, 1st March 2011

I suggest to the Home Secretary that some of the rhetoric in her speech was perhaps unwise. She is probably still thinking too much like an Opposition politician three months before an election, and not enough like a Home Secretary less than a year into a Parliament who will have to live with the consequences of her decisions and the laws that she changes.

There are difficult balances to be struck between protecting people’s freedoms from police or Government interference and protecting their freedom not to become victims of interference or violence by criminals and terrorists. Those balances should be guided by the evidence, not by the political rhetoric that she has used today about the march to authoritarianism or the ending of British liberties. Although some of the measures that she is introducing are perfectly sensible—we will support many of the sensible measures and arrangements—they are not, as the Deputy Prime Minister has tried to claim, a fundamental rolling back of the powers of the state. There are other areas where we think she has got the balance wrong.