Home Secretary attempts to re-introduce 90 days detention
Home Secretary John Reid has stated his aim to reach cross-party support on the issue of extending pre-trial detention from 28 to 90 days, despite an earlier defeat on the issue after clause 23 of the government's Terrorism Bill was defeated in November 2005.
Responding to the announcement, Andrew Simpson said he had serious reservations about government aims to extend detention, but welcomed moves for greater cross-party discussions.
"The issue of 90 days detention has quite recently been argued and lost by the government. As a Liberal Democrat I stick firmly by the principle of habeus corpus, that is the right of every individual to be presented with a charge, to be tried and to have the opportunity to defend himself against that charge.
"As for stop and search, there are no grounds for extending these powers. Police have not asked for this power and have, in fact, called for the scaling back of terrorist stop and search powers.
"This smacks of desperation on the part of the government to try and talk tough on terrorism, while failing to protect fundamental civil liberties."
For further information about Liberal Democrat policy on crime and justice go to: www.libdems.org.uk/justice