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Theresa May vows to rip up human rights laws that 'stop us from tackling terrorism'

'If I am elected as Prime Minister on Thursday, that work begins on Friday'

Theresa May has said she will rip up some human rights laws if they stop her from tackling terrorism.

As the election campaign entered its final hours, the Prime Minister told supporters she would change any laws that got in the way of preventing jihadis waging war on Britain.

Mrs May said: "As we see the threat changing, evolving becoming a more complex threat, we need to make sure that our police and security and intelligence agencies have the powers they need.

"I mean longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences. I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terrorist suspects back to their own countries.

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"And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they are a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.

"And if our human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change the laws so we can do it.

"If I am elected as Prime Minister on Thursday, that work begins on Friday."

Mrs May said she expects police and security services to launch a review after Saturday's terrorist attack in London Bridge and Borough Market, when seven innocent victims were killed.

Security services have come under pressure after it emerged one of the attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, had been reported to the anti-terror hotline in 2015.

She told Sky News: "MI5 and the police have already said they would be reviewing how they dealt with Manchester and I would expect them to do exactly the same in relation to London Bridge.

"What Government needs to do is, and what the Government that comes in after Thursday's election needs to be willing to do, is to give more powers to the police and security service when they need them, needs to deal with this issue of terrorism and extremism online and also needs to be able to call out extremism here in the United Kingdom."

Labour have claimed that Mrs May's comments represent 'another U-turn' on manifesto pledges.

The Conservative manifesto says the party will not repeal the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) while Brexit is under way but will "consider our human rights legal framework when the process of leaving the EU concludes".

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Senior Tory sources said a derogation from the laws could be used.

As home secretary, Mrs May scrapped control orders, which allowed longer curfews among other tough measures, claiming they were being knocked down in the courts.

She replaced them with less restrictive T-pims.

'Nuclear arms race'

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron accused the Prime Minister of launching a "nuclear arms race" in terror laws which would reduce freedom, not terrorism.

He said: "Theresa May is simply posturing about being tough on terror as she panics that her abysmal record is coming under scrutiny.

"In her years as home secretary she was willing to offer up the police for cut after cut.

"We have been here before - a kind of nuclear arms race in terror laws.

"It might give the appearance of action, but what the security services lack is not more power, but more resources.

"And responsibility for that lies squarely with Theresa May and her dereliction of duty.

"All she would do is reduce freedom, not terrorism."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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