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Control orders rebellion warning

Up to 50 coalition MPs could vote against the Government if it seeks to keep hold of control orders on terror suspects, former Conservative leadership contender David Davis has warned.

Mr Davis - Tory shadow home secretary until he resigned his seat over civil liberties issues - said on Monday he would vote against any attempt by Home Secretary Theresa May to keep the orders, which have been compared to house arrest.

His comments came amid claims that Prime Minister David Cameron fears a "car crash" on the issue which could split the Cabinet.

Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Chris Huhne warned on Sunday that keeping control orders would undermine key British traditions of justice and the rule of law.

A Home Office review of counter-terror measures is reported to have backed the retention of the orders, which impose severe restrictions on suspects who have not been charged, after receiving representations from MI5. But Lib Dems pledged to abolish the measures in their general election manifesto, and many senior Tories also harbour grave concerns.

Lib Dem peer and former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald, who is overseeing the conduct of the review, is reported to have written to Mrs May, warning that he would publicly denounce any decision to retain control orders.

The Home Secretary insisted on Sunday that "no decisions on the review have yet been taken".

Asked on Monday how he will vote if she decides to keep control orders, Mr Davis told BBC Two's Daily Politics: "I will oppose it. I will think it's wrong. Full stop."

Mr Davis said Mr Cameron could be heading for difficulties if he tried to force the measure through.

"It's certainly heading for a problem on a major scale," said the former shadow home secretary, who stood against Mr Cameron for the Tory leadership in 2005. "You've probably got 25 Lib Dem MPs who would find trouble voting for this. I suspect as many Tory MPs as well, maybe more. Certainly many more who are worried about it."


From Belfast Telegraph