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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

As I have said before, I do not think that it was right to go for 90-day detention and it was not justified by the evidence. There will always be areas where Governments need to be cautious in getting the balance right. Equally, however, they must be cautious not to over-hype the rhetoric and inappropriately claim that problems will somehow be easily solved. There is always a difficult balance to be struck.

I hope that the right hon. Lady, in her tenure as Home Secretary, will not have to deal with some of the extremely difficult and dangerous terrorist incidents that her Labour predecessors had to cope with, such as the Omagh bombing, to which my right hon. Friend Mr Straw referred, and the London 7/7 bombings, that led to many of the stronger counter-terrorism measures that her predecessors introduced. I also hope that she will rarely have to deal with some of the deeply disturbing and serious crimes, such as the Soham case, which led to the new procedures on vetting and barring.

The Home Secretary will know that when in the Home Office one can never predict what is coming around the corner, what problems might be uncovered or how one might need to respond in order to protect people’s freedom not to become victims of crime or terrorist threats. In those circumstances, it is wise to build consensus, rather than engaging in the kind of over-simplified political rhetoric that will make it more difficult to strike the right balance in future.